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» April 30, 2008 «
Cherry harvest has started in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, and California-grown cherries will begin arriving in grocery stores in a couple of weeks. The California Cherry Advisory Board says trees have a heavy set of fruit, and that will slow the maturation of the crop. Most of the early fruit will be shipped to overseas customers. Japan is the largest foreign buyer of California cherries. The board says fruit quality has been high.
Bee experts continue their work to determine the cause of the malady known as colony collapse disorder, as beekeepers nurture their hives to strengthen them while checking for any signs of the disorder. A University of California bee specialist says beekeepers work to keep the strength of their bees up, by providing extra food and treating hives for known viral infections. Doing so, they hope, will prevent the disorder from attacking their colonies.
It's time to think about Thanksgiving, if you're a turkey farmer. At this time of year, turkey growers obtain the young birds they will raise for the Thanksgiving season. It takes three to six months for the birds to reach market weight. Turkey has become much more of a year-round product, but the California Poultry Federation says growers still sell more than a third of their birds at Thanksgiving. Because of demand increases, the federation says it expects turkey production to be somewhat higher this year.
Even though farmers can earn high prices for beans right now, markets for competing crops have been even stronger. So acreage planted to dry edible beans in California will drop by about 22 percent. The California Dry Bean Advisory Board says farmers determined they could earn more for crops such as wheat, corn, safflower and others. In recent years, the main varieties grown here have included lima beans, garbanzos and blackeyes.Top