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» February 9, 2009 «
Valentine's Day shipments of cut flowers from California growers are at the peak today and tomorrow (Monday and Tuesday). Red roses remain the most popular, but growers have developed many new colors. One is called cabaret—white petals with a dark peach splash. Supplies will be plentiful, according to the California Cut Flower Commission. Roses from the Golden State are sent all over the nation. Growers tout the freshness of the California-grown blossoms over imports, meaning the flowers last longer after purchase.
Winter wheat farmers report the crop is progressing well. Generally, the fields look good. Recent rain has helped, as irrigation water is in short supply this year. Warmer-than-average temperatures have helped the crop along. Some growers who planned to sell green wheat to dairy farmers may end up moving the crop into the grain market because of struggles in the dairy sector. Growers in higher elevations such as the Tulelake region say they are still a couple months from planting.
California farmers are reported to be planting some peach and nectarine trees that produce smaller but sweeter fruit. Chilean farmers have developed smaller varieties of summer fruits that consumers seem to be enjoying now. Importers say smaller nectarines and peaches not only have higher sugar content and are thus sweeter, but consumers buying smaller sizes also get more pieces of fruit per pound.
Scientists say they are close to finding organic herbicides for weed control for organic growers. The potential herbicides are being tested by UC Davis researchers in three different locations. Farmers spend a great deal to buy weed-controlling materials. One material tested provided nearly 100 percent control. When testing is complete and the materials are released for use, they could be used by traditional farmers as well as those farming organically.Top