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» October 15, 2008 «
California strawberry production is shifting from Salinas-Watsonville to Oxnard as the season changes. Southern growers say the warm weather has the crop ripening more quickly than anticipated. For consumers that means there will be strawberries a-plenty at retail outlets. Growers say the fruit quality is good. At the same time they pick berries now, farmers in the Oxnard area are planting berries for the spring harvest. California leads the nation in strawberry production, harvesting year-round.
Research scientists have developed new varieties of sugarcane that have high sugar and fiber in their stalks. Estimates are that an acre of the high-energy canes could produce more than 1,200 gallons of ethanol. California farmers in Imperial County have grown sugarcane experimentally and long-term plans are for an ethanol plant to be built nearby. Sugarcane offers advantages to corn as the sugar can be directly fermented into ethanol.
This is National School Lunch Week--an ideal time to reinforce good eating habits among schoolchildren. Two business school graduates have developed a new method of providing healthy, farm-fresh meals to students through a program called "Revolution Foods." They provide more than 12,000 breakfasts, lunches and snacks each day for students in the Bay Area, with plans for expansion into the Los Angeles area this winter. Schools report students are more alert in the afternoons since healthier food has been available.
Feral cattle on a remote Arctic island may provide breeders with genes to improve American beef herds. The wild herd has existed for more than 100 years on Chirikof Island, where forage is sparse and temperatures are cold. Scientists hope to develop a strain of beef cattle that can thrive on existing forages when dry conditions prevail.Top