Agriculture briefs: Cotton farmers finish planting

May 6, 2011 

Cotton farmers throughout California will finish planting their crops this week. The cotton growers cooperative Calcot says farmers planted later than they would prefer, but weather the last few weeks has been favorable. Cotton plants emerged quickly and have been growing rapidly thanks to warming temperatures. Continued warm weather in the Central Valley will help the plants catch up from being planted late.

Optimism prevails in rice country

Strong demand for rice leaves farmers optimistic as the planting season gets under way. Recent ideal weather has accelerated field work, after a slow start caused by the cool, wet spring. Government forecasters predict California farmers will plant 575,000 acres of rice this year, up 8 percent from a year ago.

Snowpack remains plentiful

Both in the Sierra Nevada and in the Colorado River Basin, measurements show above-average snow levels that will help replenish California water supplies this summer. The state Department of Water Resources reported this week that the Sierra snowpack stood at 144 percent of the April 1 season average. In the Colorado River Basin, which provides water for much of Southern California, the snowpack stands at 149 percent of average.

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