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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Global Freezing wrecks your household budget!

Al Gorehound, call your office.

AP: Cold ruins nearly $1 billion of California citrus
Fresno - Shoppers soon will be feeling the sting of higher prices from a wave of icy weather that has hit California farms. As much as three-quarters of the state's citrus crop withered in the field during the cold snap, but nearly every winter crop, from avocados to fresh-cut flowers, has suffered severely.

Price hikes still won't be enough to offset the damage, as growers cope with nearly $1 billion in losses following four consecutive nights of subfreezing temperatures.

On Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the federal government for disaster aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Small Business Administration for growers and other affected businesses.

"This is not just about the crop this year. It could also have a devastating effect next year," Schwarzenegger said after touring a devastated orange grove in Fresno. "My administration will make sure that we do everything we can to help the farmers and workers get through this."

The state's citrus industry stands to take the biggest economic hit of all crops.

California is the nation's No. 1 producer of fresh citrus, growing about 86 percent of lemons and 21 percent of oranges sold in the U.S., according to the California Farm Bureau. Florida produces more citrus overall, mostly for use in orange juice, according to the USDA.

Growers say more than 70 percent of this season's oranges, lemons and tangerines were still on the trees as nighttime temperatures in California's Central Valley dipped into the low 20s and teens beginning Friday. The fruit is threatened whenever the mercury falls below 28 degrees.

"Limited amounts were harvested before the freeze, so it's not like the markets are going to dry up suddenly," said Claire Smith, a spokeswoman for Sunkist Growers Inc., a Los Angeles-based cooperative owned by some 6,000 growers in California and Arizona.

Still, the diminished supply is bound to drive up prices, Smith said. Sunkist may import oranges and other fruit from South Africa and other countries.

"We may adjust the prices as we discover the full extent of the damage next week, but for now, if you bought an orange at the supermarket for 50 cents, expect to pay a dollar to $1.49 for it," said Todd Steel, owner of Royal Vista Marketing, which sells California citrus to markets throughout the country.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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