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Ag Beat: Rain Helps Oranges,Pixley Solar Project

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 12.17.22 PMRains Help Valencia Crop
The CDFA March 2015-16 Valencia orange forecast is 21 million cartons. The season has had adequate rainfall after several years of drought in many areas and measurements are indicating an average fruit size but the fruit set has been positively impacted.
Survey data indicated an average fruit set per tree of 696, a twenty eight percent increase from the previous year and well above the five-year average of 607.

Pixley Nut Farm Will Use Solar To Pump Irrigation Wells
Dixon-based Empire Farming also has orchards in Tulare County near Pixley. Now brothers Gary and Shindi Thiara are planning to irrigate their almonds here with the power of the sun. The company has invested more than $6.5 million in ground-mounted solar arrays that will pump well water enabling to just about say goodbye to their utility bill every month.”This should take care of more than 90% of our power needs” to pump water says Gary.
In the old days farmers and ranchers used those iconic windmills to power small water wells for cattle but today the technology can pump water on “very,very large systems” says a University of Arizona ag professor. Grants and rebates are available to help growers make the switch.

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