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California Fires Damages Flower and Plant Crops

The county is one of the biggest producing areas
of cut flowers and indoor and outdoor ornamental plants in the U.S.

The
wild fires that tore through California last week caused extensive
damage to San Diego County’s floral and ornamental plants, the county’s
number one cash crop. The county is one of the biggest producing areas
of cut flowers and indoor and outdoor ornamental plants in the U.S.

The
San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Oct. 26 that the biggest fire loss
occurred at Kendall Farms, a cut flower grower in Fallbrook,
California. According to the article, the farm lost 95 per cent of the
200-acre crop.

A representative from the San Diego County
Department of Agricultural Weights and Measures estimated that 16.5 per
cent of the county’s 9,870 acres of flower, nursery and greenhouse
crops are in the Rice Canyon and Witch creek fire areas.

Damage
to crops could also result from the burning, dehydration, smoke and ash
pollution as well. Growers located outside of the line of fire told the
Union-Tribune that they had also suffered from the fire and were in the
midst of blowing the alkaline-heavy ash from their seasonal crop of
pointsettias. If left on the plants, the ash could mix with water and
cause a chemical reaction that would in turn, burn the plant.

The
article stated that the fire damage would not likely drive up the cost
of cut flowers and plants as other unaffected producers will fill in
the void.

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