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Weather hurting Calif. almond growers

March 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For California farmers, the weather is an ongoing topic of discussion and concern, especially when it comes to the amount of rainfall. Some Northern California farmers are complaining about too much rain so far this year and the effects on their produce.After bumper crops over the last couple of years, almond growers are facing smaller hauls this year due to recent weather.

Almond and walnut grower George Nicolaus in Chico, Calif. said recent rains have damaged almond blossoms.

"We had such mild temperatures in December and January -- no rain," said Nicolaus. "And then about the time they were ready to bloom the whole weather scenario changed to wet and cold."

Nicolaus says the damaged blossoms could mean fewer nuts on the trees come harvest time.

"I mean, if times are tough people will eat rice and beans," said Nicolaus. "So we're probably at a little bit of a disadvantage there internationally. But by the same token, the world's economic standards continue to come up little by little. If we're off by ten percent, I'd be happy if that's all it was."

California's walnut production goes into high gear later in the year.


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