Katrina Having Impact on California Agriculture

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, August 29, 2005

California truckers began feeling the impact of the hurricane late last week. An increase in crude oil sent diesel fuel to as much as three-twenty a gallon in some areas. It's likely going to go higher.
Stephanie Williams of the California Trucking Association says the latest increase is just too much for some truckers.

"They won't be able to shoulder this last spike. You're going to have a huge amount of companies go out of business."

Fewer trucks means it's going to be even more difficult and costly for growers to get their crops to market.
Ross Siragusa, of the California Tomato Growers Association says there's such a short supply already that growers of a number of commodities are trying to get the most from each trip.

"The California Department of Agriculture has asked for an increase in the amount of weight that can be hauled on the trucks for tomatoes, grapes and pears."

Economists say any vacillation in the cost of getting food to the supermarket eventually affects consumer prices.