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» June 19, 2008 «
Water reservoirs in California are well below average in storage, causing delivery reductions. A group of water experts Wednesday held a briefing to outline the current status and what can be done to improve the situation. However, efforts to move water for farm irrigation may be too late to save some crops and without water in a matter of days, some San Joaquin Valley row crops will be lost. Pumping ground water into canals may provide some additional water supplies.
Weather has created a tough year for California sweet potato growers. Farmers are about 20 days behind average in planting the crop. Heavy winds destroyed about 1,500 acres of planted sweet potatoes that had to be reseeded and cool temperatures in May and June slowed crop growth. Farmers also are concerned that irrigation water delivery schedules show they may not have enough water in September to finish growing late varieties. Harvest won't begin until late July, two weeks later than average.
California sugar beet farmers are continuing their harvest. A federal government report suggests sugar beet production will be about 6 percent less than last year. Planted acreage declined about 8 percent. However, the yield per acre is expected to be about 4 percent above last year at 37.5 tons per acre. California ranks fifth in sugar beet production in the nation, with Imperial County leading the state.
Research scientists in Albany, California have developed flavorful, chewy fruit bars that do not use fillers. The bars come in a size perfect for kids' lunch boxes, and they supply the equivalent of one serving of fruit. The bars are gluten-free and kosher-certified. Flavors include apple, apple-cherry, apple-raspberry, pear, pear-cranberry and pear-strawberry. They are being marketed in vending machines and other retail outlets and marked that no fillers have been added.Top