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» July 24, 2008 «
Saying their livelihoods depend on reliable irrigation water, hundreds of Central Valley farmworkers rallied at the state Capitol yesterday (Wednesday). Their chants drew the attention of Governor Schwarzenegger, who told them he appreciated their efforts to underscore the need for additional water supplies. The workers came from locations mostly in the San Joaquin Valley. State officials say California has suffered at least $245 million dollars in crop losses due to drought and water shortages.
Hot weather and wind during bloom took a toll on the California olive crop. The Olive Growers Council says temperatures reached 100 degrees or more during May, as olive trees were pollinating. Then, pollen not damaged by the heat ended up being blown away by strong winds that followed the hot spell. Many farmers surveying their olive groves say there is so little fruit on the trees that they won't try to harvest any.
It's been a slow start for the California sweet potato harvest, but farmers say shoppers can expect to find new-crop potatoes in retail stores by the end of next week. That's good, because supplies in storage are about exhausted. Demand for frozen, french-fried sweet potatoes continues to grow. But farmers probably won't sell into that market until September, because demand for fresh market sweet potatoes remains strong.
Are you eating at home more often these days? A survey released by a retail-analytics company shows that 82 percent of U.S. consumers said they have cooked at home more in the past six months. Despite that, the survey showed that most consumers did not spend their economic stimulus checks on food. About 84 percent of consumers responding to the survey said they spent the stimulus money on something other than groceries.Top