Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityGov. Schwarzenegger's news conference on the drought declaration
mp3 | Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» June 5, 2008 «
Dry weather and court-ordered water cutbacks leave California in a "dire situation," according to Governor Schwarzenegger. The governor declared a statewide drought yesterday (Wednesday), and signed an executive order taking a number of short-term steps to address water shortages. The measures include work to ease water exchanges that might help San Joaquin Valley farmers, and an order to gather data on crop losses caused by water shortages.
Water cutbacks leave many California farmers facing hard choices. The head of the state's largest farm group says he supports the governor's declaration of a statewide drought. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar called the governor's action "a wake-up call." He said water shortages leave many farmers uncertain they'll have enough water for crops awaiting harvest. Mosebar said the lack of water strikes at farmers' ability to grow food for consumers.
Frost damage from April shows up in crop forecasts from the California Canning Peach Association. Estimates of crop yield show farmers in the Yuba/Sutter area expecting only 13 tons of peaches per acre. That's a 24 percent decline from last year. The Yuba/Sutter region took the hardest hit from the freeze. Farmers statewide have removed 1,200 acres of cling-peach trees this year, leading to a decline in overall production.
Cherry lovers know the season is short for their favorite fruit … and the season may be even shorter this year. Farmers in the Pacific Northwest report they have only about three-fifths of a typical crop, and the fruit is ripening slowly. That means there could be a two-week period between the end of the California crop and the start of cherry harvest in the Northwest. California growers have a good-sized crop and will be harvesting for about two more weeks.Top