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President's Messages

  • The risks of farming in Central California came into focus last week when severe thunder storms struck especially hard in areas in Tulare and Kings Counties. Hail, as large as quarters in some places, fell in an approximate three mile swath that extended from about Hanford in the west to Orosi in the east. This area is prime stone fruit producing land with as much as a third of the state’s fresh peaches, plums and nectarines located in the path of the storm.

  • Well Spring is just around the corner and with an increase in the temperatures comes the League’s attention on its upcoming Annual Meeting and Convention. This year we return to the beautiful Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay. The last time we were at this beautiful resort was in 2004 so our current chairman, Steve Hash, decided it was more than time to return to this fabulous venue.

  • First, I would like to say Happy New Year! With the start of a new calendar year, our thoughts shift from the crops recently harvested to the outlook of what to expect in 2012. Many questions come to the forefront. After one of the driest Decembers on record, will there be enough rainfall the next four months to provide adequate water supplies? What will the changes to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act as directed by SB 126 truly mean to table grape and tree fruit growers?

  • The 2011 harvest for tree fruit is pretty much wrapped up, while the picking of table grapes is expected to continue another six to eight weeks if Mother Nature cooperates. The first week of October brought approximately one inch of rain to the state, and an estimated 75 percent of the unharvested table grapes were covered with plastic so there was no material negative impact. Numbers are still being accumulated, but most experts put the amount of peaches, plums and nectarines harvested this year at more than 50 million boxes with reported returns averaging better than last year.

  • Another summer has seemingly flown by as it seems like just a few days ago we were celebrating Memorial Day and looking forward to the harvest. Now we have gone through much of the tree fruit picking and fresh grapes are going full bore. The recess for California legislators has come and gone and shortly the members of Congress will be back in session in DC in person.