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» October 30, 2008 «
San Diego County farms and ranches are gradually recovering from last year's wildfires. There was nearly $43 million in crop damage, but that does not include losses to irrigation systems, supplies or other items destroyed by fire. Some farmers planted annual crops to generate income to fund repair of irrigation systems and purchase replacement trees or vines. Some also are looking at recovery as if they are launching a start-up business. It is still not certain when full production will resume.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced his opposition to Proposition 2 on the November ballot, which would change standards for confining farm animals. If approved, opponents say it would significantly limit the ability of California consumers to buy safe, affordable eggs that are fresh and locally grown. A University of California, Davis, study says most of the egg-producing business would move out of the state, as farmers would not be able to afford to buy the land needed to comply.
Healthy eating habits are important for everyone, even when economic times are tough. A nutrition expert at the University of California, Davis, suggests consumers who need to tighten their budgets shop for advertised specials. For instance, single people can buy bulk items such as chicken and split the purchase into single-serving packages to freeze for future use. Likewise, buying fresh produce on sale can provide nutritious food on a budget.
An infestation of the European gypsy moth has prompted the California Department of Food and Agriculture to establish a quarantine of approximately 5 square miles in the Ojai area of Ventura County. The moth is a major pest of forests and landscape trees. Its caterpillars feed on hundreds of kinds of plants and can cause a significant defoliation of trees. Four gypsy moths were trapped in Ojai in June 2007 and additional moths have been found more recently.Top