Mild Weather Concerns Growers

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, January 19, 2006

Temperatures this winter have been unseasonably mild. The weather has kept heating bills in check, but caused concern for growers of tree fruits and nuts, such as cherries and almonds.

Dave Kranz of the California Farm Bureau says if there aren't a significant number of days when temperatures dip to 45 degrees or lower the size of the upcoming harvest could be affected.

"If the trees don't achieve enough chilling its more likely for the bloom either to be delayed or elongated, which makes the pollination of the crops uncertain when the springtime rolls around."

There's a lot at stake for growers. According to the Farm Bureau, California accounts for nearly 40 percent of the fruit and nut production in the United States. In 2004, the state produced over 13 million tons of fruit and nuts, valued at nearly ten billion dollars.