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Audio ActualityFarmers and ranchers curtailing electrical energy use
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» August 31, 2007 «
As California works to weather the surge in electrical demand that comes with a late-August heat wave, farmers do what they can to reduce use during peak hours. Some farmers delay crop irrigation until nighttime. That cuts use of electrical pumps during peak demand periods. Farmers also curtail electrical use in their shops and homes. The Independent System Operator says demand for electricity should decline today (Friday) as businesses close for the holiday weekend.
Surprise thundershowers in Fresno County yesterday (Thursday) raised concerns from farmers. The raisin-grape harvest has just begun, and rain could hurt grapes that have been laid down for drying into raisins. A raisin-growers organization estimates that less than 10 percent of the crop has been laid to dry, so far. The showers were widely scattered and breezes that accompanied the rain should help reduce the chances for severe damage.
The discovery of an insect called the western grapeleaf skeletonizer in Napa County has triggered an effort to eradicate the pest. Napa County has avoided infestations of the skeletonizer, although it does exist in other parts of California. One insect was found on the west side of Napa Valley, and trapping has begun to determine if there are any more. Once the size of the infestation is determined, the county agricultural commissioner plans an eradication program.
If you're planning to eat watermelon during the Labor Day weekend, you'll have plenty of company. Americans have increased their watermelon consumption by more than 20 percent during the past three years, on a per-person basis. Government analysts attribute the increase to factors that include seedless varieties, the marketing of smaller-sized melons and the introduction of watermelon in different flesh colors, such as yellow, orange, white and pink.Top