Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A look at what's making news in California agriculture

The following is a look at some of the headlines in agriculture news from around California today.

This list was compiled by Bob Krauter, the Capital Press' California editor in Sacramento. Bob put this list together for our California staffers, but I thought I would post it here too. This could become a regular feature if it proves useful to our staff or for our readers.

Capital Press NewScan - Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Desert - $3.5M to help ag businesses

An arm of the Imperial Irrigation District will spend $3.5 million to aid agricultural businesses hurt by a water conservation program that has left farmland idle. The decision Wednesday may be both the first and last time the so-called Local Entity is able to distribute money as its future is in question. (imperial Valley Press)
Click here for the link to the story.

South Coast - Affordable homes for farmworkers to be focus of tour

Few affordable, quality homes are available for the more than 30,000 farmworkers who live in Ventura County, housing advocates say. On Thursday, the public will have a chance to tour some of those locations and gain an understanding of the issue. (Ventura Star)
Click here for the link to the story.

Wine grapes buoy mixed year for agriculture

Led by a huge increase for wine grapes, Santa Barbara County crops yielded $997.6 million in gross value in 2005, a 10-percent increase over 2004, according to numbers released Monday. But while the data appears to be glowing news for local agriculture, officials are classifying 2005 as fair to poor for individual commodities and growers. (Santa Maria Times)
Click here for the link to the story.

Central Coast - Small lettuce crop could raise prices

Though the rain has stopped, the problems it's caused for growers have not. Many Salinas Valley growers say their lettuce-harvesting schedules, delayed by waterlogged soil that prevented work crews from getting to crops, are behind by at least a week. (Salinas Californian)
Click here for the link to the story.

San Joaquin Valley - Tulare County farmer's recollection of the great quake

Editor's note: Ray Pritchard was a Tulare County farmer and landowner for most of his life. But in 1906, he was 10 years old and living in Middle River, a branch of the San Joaquin River west of Stockton. His father was employed by the Santa Fe Railway as a ticket agent, freight agent, Wells Fargo agent and bridge tender. (Visalia Times Delta)

Preserving a way of life

Arturo Vigil recalled his first job at a Tri Valley Growers cannery in Modesto, cleaning floors for about $3.50 an hour for just a few months a year. He has stayed for 33 years at the plant, now owned by Signature Fruit Co., and today makes about $20 an hour plus benefits as a year-round warehouse supervisor. (Modesto Bee)
Click here for the link to the story.

Rain's Toll Hits Hard - Strawberry grower says much of his crop is ruined.

A rainy March and early April has destroyed some crops and delayed the planting of several others. It's also reason for farmers to take extra precaution to protect their crops from disease. Strawberry farmers between Atwater and Merced said the heavy rain and flooding has wiped out part of their planting. (Mcerd Sun Star)
Click here for the link to the story.

Farmers ready to nurture crops

Forecasts of generally good weather this week have San Joaquin County farmers looking forward to catching up on three weeks to a month of tilling, planting, spraying and other chores delayed by the long stint of spring rains. And even with skies clear Monday over Stockton, most area growers may need another seven to 10 days of dry weather before they use tractors and other heavy equipment on the sodden fields, said Mick Canevari, county director for University of California Cooperative Extension. (Stockton Record)
Click here for the link to the story.

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