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» January 29, 2008 «
Wild weekend weather has taken a further bite out of California almond orchards. This time, most of the damage appears to have occurred in the San Joaquin Valley, where windstorms knocked down more almond trees. One farmer in Madera County reported the loss of a thousand mature trees. Inspectors will spend several days assessing losses. Damage from strong winds earlier this month was centered in Sacramento Valley orchards.
Heavy rains in Southern California have delayed harvests of strawberries, vegetables, citrus fruit and other crops. In Ventura County, strawberry growers may have to wait a few days to resume harvest. Production will start again once fields dry. The California Strawberry Commission says farmers to the south, in Orange and San Diego counties, appear to have escaped heavy rain and continued to produce strawberries.
There should be a lot more wheat coming from Southern California. Farmers in the Imperial and Palo Verde valleys have sharply increased plantings of durum-type wheat. Durum wheat is used mainly to make pasta, and the California Wheat Commission says prices for the grain have risen "extremely high." Statewide, farmers plan to plant about 140,000 acres of durum wheat … double the amount they planted two years ago.
As the term "carbon footprint" has entered people's vocabularies, more businesses want to learn how their work affects global climate change. By next month, California wineries will have new tools to measure their carbon footprints. The Wine Institute said yesterday (Monday) it had worked with groups in three other countries to create the calculation tools. It says winemaking and other agricultural pursuits generally don't emit much carbon, but that its members wanted to have the information available.Top