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» August 10, 2007 «
It will be close, but farmers along the California-Oregon border say they should have enough water to sustain their crops. Harvest season has begun in the Klamath Basin, and farmers will continue to reap alfalfa, horseradish, potatoes and other crops through September. The head of the Klamath Water Users Association says the situation is always "very tricky and very tight." He says farmers have made significant investments in irrigation efficiency.
The first California-grown pomegranates of the season may begin arriving in retail stores as early as this weekend. The Pomegranate Council says harvest has started in Kern County. Thanks to cooperative weather during the growing season, farmers say fruit quality appears excellent. Early pomegranate varieties will supply the market until October, when the main variety, the Wonderful, matures.
Despite strong demand for onions and favorable prices, farmers have not responded by planting additional acreage. Growers in many states fear they won't be able to hire enough people to harvest new onion acres. California farmers face an additional problem, as a fungal disease known as white rot has made thousands of acres of land unusable for onions. Because there is no cure for white rot, the only option is to plant other crops not susceptible to it.
Needy California families have improved access to fresh fruit and vegetables this summer. More than 50 farming businesses in the Central Coast area donate surplus produce to an organization called Ag Against Hunger. It collects the produce at a Salinas warehouse, and ships it from there to food banks. The organization says additional donations from farms have allowed it to distribute more fruit and vegetables to food banks in California and other Western states.Top