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» April 15, 2008 «
Even though it's the world's largest walnut producer, China could become a larger market for California-grown nuts. Chinese consumers are increasing their demand for walnuts, and California farmers now export small amounts there. A marketer for the California Walnut Commission who visited China says there's potential for expanded sales. But China imposes tariffs and other barriers that make American nuts less competitive.
Increased exports of poultry products to Chile should bring indirect benefits to California poultry producers. Chile and the United States announced last week that they had agreed on rules to expand the Chilean market for U.S. poultry. The two nations have a free-trade agreement in place that helped expand the market. The California Poultry Federation says increased exports should improve markets generally, though little California poultry will go directly to Chile.
With temperatures now cooling, observers say hot weather in Southern California over the weekend appeared to create few problems for farmers. In Ventura County, warm temperatures hastened ripening among strawberries and celery, and that could affect on-farm prices if supplies exceed demand. In San Diego County, farmers who are under water allotments must determine how little water they can apply while maintaining their crops. The warm weather accelerated drying in range grasses.
California's expanded crop of winter wheat has gotten off to a promising start. A report on crop progress issued yesterday (Monday) shows more than 60 percent of the state's crop in excellent condition. Most of the rest was rated "good." Only 1 percent of the wheat crop is in poor shape, mainly among fields grown without irrigation in Southern California. Winter wheat acreage has expanded due to strong prices.Top