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» February 1, 2008 «
More snow was falling as the Department of Water Resources team took measurements at Echo Summit Thursday. They found the snowpack is about 120 percent of average at those locations, with additional snow being added. The snowpack is much better than last year and even better than last month, as January has been a good moisture producer. Long-range forecasts are mixed, but the state senior meteorologist thinks precipitation in February and March will be average or a little above in the north and average in the south.
How much should water managers factor in climate change, as they plan for California's water future? Observers disagreed, during a panel discussion at the California Irrigation Institute conference in Sacramento yesterday. An environmental advocate described climate change as "a tsunami that's about to hit us." But a water district official said managers should focus on immediate concerns such as declining fish populations.
California continues to lead the nation in fresh vegetable production, according to a federal government report. California farmers produced more than 12 million tons of fresh vegetables last year, about 3 percent more than in 2006. That amounts to 50 percent of the nation's production and 54 percent of the value. The report says of the 28 vegetables in the survey, 19 increased in value last year while 9 declined.
Winter vegetable growers in the Imperial Valley say they are producing the best quality winter vegetables in years. However, the price they earn for their crop has been soft all season. Production costs have soared this year with high diesel fuel prices and high fertilizer costs as well. The cost of implementing new food safety rules has surprised farmers, as it is almost double what they anticipated. There has been an adequate supply of farmworkers this season.Top