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» December 16, 2008 «
Drought conditions continue in California, even though a series of storms has dropped precipitation on the state. The Department of Water Resources says much more precipitation is needed to moderate the drought and urges wise water use. Weekend storms dropped more moisture on Southern California than the rest of the state. The northern Sierra Nevada has about 70 percent of average precipitation for this date while the southern Sierra has about 68 percent.
California flower growers are sending good supplies of traditional plants and fresh cut flowers to market for Christmas. It's the third biggest holiday for flower growers, who are hoping for strong sales even though the economy is soft. The California cut flower sector provides more than 75 percent of the nation's floral products. However, they face strong competition from growers in Central and South America who have lower production costs and are able to ship to the United States by air.
Public comment is being sought for Agricultural Vision, a document produced by the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Food and Agriculture. One of the policy priorities in the proposal is keeping a healthier planet through agricultural stewardship. They hope for comment from the public as well as farmers, ranchers and others involved in the farming sector.
Scientists have developed a biological sensor that detects salmonella bacteria. They report it can be adapted to detect other foodborne pathogens as well. The discovery has great potential for food safety and security. The researchers used nanotechnology to develop the sensor. It measures materials about 10 to 100 times thinner than a human hair. An Agricultural Research Service engineer developed the device.Top