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» December 10, 2007 «
As Congress finalizes an energy bill, rural counties will work to make sure the bill includes a provision that secures funding for schools, roads and other services. The funding replaces government money lost when logging restrictions reduced timber revenue from federal land. Three-dozen California counties benefit from it. The energy bill approved by the House last week contains the rural school-and-road money, and backers say they'll work to make sure the Senate version does, too.
Shifting markets for onions and wheat could bring planting changes in the Imperial Valley. Farmers in the valley are deciding now, how many onions to plant for harvest next spring. But onion prices are low … and wheat prices are high. Analysts say that may cause a number of Imperial Valley farmers to shift their land out of onion production and into wheat. Imperial County was the state's number-two producer of onions last year.
Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, kiwifruit farmers report finding less fruit on their vines this season. As California farmers finish picking their kiwifruit, they say the crop is lighter than originally predicted. Farmers in Italy have seen kiwifruit yields decline, too. The California Kiwifruit Commission says the reasons for the decline aren't clear, but that crop quality has been good. Kiwifruit stored from the earlier harvest in the Southern Hemisphere has helped to fill demand.
An end-of-harvest estimate from the Walnut Marketing Board shows that California farmers harvested about 320,000 tons of walnuts this season. That would be an 8 percent drop compared to last year's harvest. But the walnut board notes that California's walnut crop has increased by 65 percent since 1992. And it says this year's walnut crop boasts "exceptional" quality and good color.Top