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Audio ActualityMarketing California peaches, plums and nectarines
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» August 16, 2007 «
It's prime time for tomato harvest in California, with about a million tons of fruit reaching the state's processing plants each week. Most tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, salsa, ketchup and other products comes from California, and the California Tomato Growers Association says harvest has been relatively uneventful, so far. Cooler-than-average daytime temperatures have slowed ripening in some fields, but tomato growers say weather is better than it's been for a couple of years.
Another seven California counties have been declared natural disaster areas, which means at least two-dozen have earned the designation because of dry weather. The U.S. Agriculture Department issued the declarations yesterday (Wednesday), allowing farmers to apply for low-interest, emergency loans. It declared drought disasters in Alameda, Madera, Sacramento, Solano and Tehama counties, and said Butte and Yuba counties had suffered from unseasonably hot weather and low humidity.
Most of us are "in-betweeners" when it comes to our fruit preferences, according to the California Tree Fruit Agreement. It conducted a marketing survey, asking consumers how they like to eat peaches, plums or nectarines. The group says 17 percent of consumers are "crunchers," who enjoy firm, crisp fruit. One-third of those surveyed prefer juicy, soft fruit. The remaining 50 percent are "in-betweeners," who prefer fruit just moist enough to enjoy without dripping.
Date trees like lots of hot weather to produce top-quality fruit, and they've been getting plenty this year. The California Date Commission says temperatures in the California desert, where the dates grow, have been above 100 degrees for several weeks. The fruit is developing well, and should be ready for harvest in mid-September. Farms in Riverside and Imperial counties produce more than 80 percent of domestically grown dates.Top