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» August 29, 2007 «
With fewer hens laying eggs and more demand from Europe and other foreign countries, egg farmers across the nation have seen sharp price increases. California farmers earned an average 84 cents a dozen for eggs in July, up a record 34 cents from the previous month. A market analyst says the higher prices help farmers repay debt incurred when prices were low. California egg production has been declining, and last year hit its lowest level since 1958.
Additional inspections at the Arizona border aim to prevent motorists from carrying agricultural pests or diseases into California. The border inspection station at Winterhaven has resumed checks of passenger vehicles. For the last four years, inspections had been limited to commercial vehicles, because of budget cuts. Southern California farmers welcomed the restored inspections as added protection from invasive species.
They'd like it to be cooler, maybe even a little rainy, during the next few weeks. But in the immediate future, olive growers expect their trees to withstand triple-digit temperatures. That's likely to retard the sizing of the fruit awaiting harvest. During milder weather earlier this summer, farmers say olives had been sizing nicely. Harvest will begin next month. California farms produce the nation's entire crop of olives.
Grapeseed oil could be the next new gourmet product from California. The oil is crushed from grapeseeds, left over after the winemaking process. It takes a ton of grapes to make a 33-ounce bottle of grapeseed oil, and most of the oil now on the market comes from Italy. But a Napa Valley entrepreneur who makes the oil says he hopes to produce it from California-grown grapes in the future.Top