The central San Joaquin Valley, boasting billions of dollars in agricultural production, is vulnerable to attack from terrorists — foreign or homegrown. U.S. forces have found documents at an Al Qaeda training camp showing interest in targeting farms in the United States. California agriculture is also under the threat of violence from marijuana traffickers. Marijuana farming has seen an explosion, boosted by California medical laws. A single acre of marijuana can bring sales valued at $19 million.
Lance Shebelut was seeing red.
But that’s a good thing when you’re looking at a crop of Gala apples that has color shoppers want, thanks to a cooler summer in the San Joaquin Valley.
For Shebelut, who grows apples in Madera County, and many other California apple growers, it was among the good news for the 2010 crop that will help make up for what many are calling a terrible year for the state’s apples in 2009.