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Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Late October rain a mixed bag for California ag

Rain and cool temperatures this week have prompted newspapers to see how the weather change is sitting with the state's agricultural industry.

The Woodland Daily Democrat reported that local rain and wind were good for some crops, and bad for others. The cool weather has postponed the harvest date for rice, while the rain has provided enough water for wheat to germinate, the story said.

UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Kent Britton told reporter Katherine Jarvis farmers should wait until Nov. 1 to plant their winter wheat to avoid frost damage later in the season.

The Stockton Record reported that late winegrape varieties, tomatoes, almonds, walnuts, cut hay, beans, silage and grain corn, and rice are all taking a hit from the weekend rain. Meanwhile, the rain is a boon to cattle and sheep ranchers whose pastures are being watered.

UCCE viticulture advisor Paul Verdegaal told reporter Reed Fujii most of the Lodi area's 100,000 acres of vineyards have already been harvested.

"It's probably overall a little less damaging for the Lodi district than compared to the coastal and foothill areas, (where the harvests) are a little bit delayed," Verdegaal was quoted.

Fujii also spoke to UCCE vegetable crops advisor Brenna Aegerter. She said there could be rain-related problems with cannery and fresh market tomatoes.

"Usually there's a delay, so maybe they can't go into the field for several days," Aegerter was quoted. "Then when they get back in, you get fruit rot, when the fruit has been wet for a couple days."

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

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