7 /28/2011 Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

People are gobbling up California raisins. The California Raisin Marketing Board says demand is up.

It says shoppers appreciate the health benefits and portability of raisins and other dried fruits. A report released this summer found that eating dried fruit had the same nutritional benefit as fresh fruit. Raisin prices have increased

The board says its partially due to reduced raisin grape acreage in California and decreased supplies from Australia and China.

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Cool, mild weather this spring and early summer slowed melon crops in the Central Valley. Supplies are increasing now.

Farms in the southern portion of the state benefitted from a quick rise in temperatures ideal for melon growth. But late rains to the north led to lower production and slower maturity for watermelons, cantaloupes and honeydews.

A crop weather report noted this week that farmers are in the midst of harvesting melons, one to two weeks later than the normal schedule.

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