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» December 5, 2008 «
The California Department of Water Resources is urging all Californians to use water carefully. Reservoirs statewide are at about 70 percent of average, which compares to 86 percent a year ago. State weather forecasters predict dry weather all next week. However, the long-range forecast is for average rainfall after mid-December. But, water monitors say it will take an above-average amount of precipitation to bring water levels in the reservoirs up.
California ranks second nationally in cotton production, which is one reason research into the life of the boll weevil is of interest. It remains one of the most destructive cotton pests. Over a 10-year study, entomologists have discovered that the boll weevil doesn't hibernate during winter. Instead it remains active, feeding on edible portions of orange, grapefruit and prickly cactus. These findings could help scientists develop new biological and ecological approaches to controlling the pest.
A new plant virus has been found in Salinas Valley celery and cilantro plants. The Apium Virus Y causes enough damage to make the celery and cilantro unmarketable. The virus is new to the United States. Farm researchers are working to determine the host plant list. It is known that aphids can spread the virus. The researchers are also trying to determine crop rotation and weed control strategies to manage the viral diseases.
Increased alkali in the diet from eating fruits and vegetables may boost bone health, according to a recent study. Those in the 171-member study group age 50 or older that consumed supplements of compounds found in fruits and vegetables had less calcium loss from their bones. Those receiving a placebo suffered calcium loss. The study will be published in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.Top