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» August 3, 2007 «
Tomatoes that will become ketchup, salsa, spaghetti sauce and other products are now being harvested in the Central Valley, and farmers report above-average yields from their fields. Canneries will pay farmers higher prices for processing tomatoes than they've seen in several years. But rising water costs will offset some of the benefit for San Joaquin Valley farmers who will harvest tomatoes later in the season. They'll likely see higher rates for spot-market water needed to finish their crops.
It's been the best harvest in more than 20 years for many California wheat farmers. With harvest now ended in most of the state's production areas, the California Wheat Commission says growers reported strong yields and earned their highest prices in a decade. The commission says farmers produced close to 3 tons of wheat on each acre of irrigated ground. But dryland wheat, grown without irrigation, suffered from lack of winter and spring rain.
They're earning more for their milk than ever before, but they're also paying record high prices for feed, so California dairy farmers must calculate how to respond. A market analyst says the higher milk prices can help farmers recover from previous low-income years. But farmers must walk a fine line in dealing with rising costs for hay and other feed. If they use cheaper feed, milk production may decline, and individual farmers are balancing those factors.
Conditions have been favorable, but California kiwifruit has been slow to develop this summer. That leaves farmers uncertain about how large their crop may be. Weather has been beneficial for kiwifruit so far, but farmers report the fruit hasn't been growing in size. There's still time, since the harvest won't start until late September, and farmers say that in some previous years the fruit has waited until just before harvest to grow.Top