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» June 3, 2008 «
Farmers in the Southern San Joaquin Valley were told at a Monday conference their water allocations would be reduced to 40 percent. This five percent reduction means some growers may not have enough water to produce a crop. Political leaders report they are asking the governor to declare a drought emergency. They also say the reductions will be felt throughout the state. Growers may face decisions about which fields to let go dry. Already 180,000 acres in the Westlands water district are fallow.
Pumpkin farmers are now planting their crop in preparation for the Halloween rush. Demand for pumpkins starts in early September, as retailers use orange gourds to provide decorations and help set the stage for the fall holiday. Farmers planted some pumpkins last month to meet that demand, and are now planting for the major part of the demand curve. Growers are hoping for favorable weather this summer.
With hot weather fast approaching, Farm Bureau is offering tips to help everyone cope with the heat. Members are being advised to adhere to state rules about working in the heat, but the public in general should also be aware of the dangers of hot weather. Those participating in recreational activities on the weekends should also take appropriate precautions. Drinking plenty of water and taking breaks in the shade will help everyone.
Despite spring weather damage, the California dried plum or prune crop is predicted to be about 45 percent more than last year. A federal government report predicts 120,000 tons of prunes to be harvested this year. However, some growers lost more than 25 percent of their crop to the April frost, while a few lost their entire crop. Bearing acreage is estimated at 65,000, which is about where it has been for the past two seasons.Top