Harvests start early

It’s a common refrain on many California farms: Harvests are starting earlier than usual. Grape growers report their crops maturing two weeks or more ahead of a typical schedule, and many other harvests are also ahead of average dates. The mild, dry spring gave crops a head start, and warm summer weather has continued to accelerate crop development. The weather has helped the condition of field crops but rangeland remains in poor shape.


Cattle rustling declines

With pastures parched and fewer cattle on the range, cattle rustling has decreased in California. Due to the drought, ranchers visit their cattle often to provide feed and water, which also helps to deter thieves. Authorities report the number of cattle stolen statewide dropped by almost half in the just-ended fiscal year. The state has also strengthened penalties against livestock theft, including a new law signed by Gov. Brown last month.


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