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» January 7, 2009 «
California pear growers had a good season, with supply and demand balanced. But in the future, demand may exceed supply, according to the California Pear Advisory Board. Orchards that produce about 11 tons of pears yearly are being removed. The largest removal—trees producing about 7 tons—is for levee repair in the Yuba/Sutter area. Those reductions will lower the potential crop for 2009 by about 5 percent.
California has been the leading hay-producing state in the nation. However, acreage could decline this year because of a lack of water. Hay prices have been high, which should provide incentives to increase plantings. But with the uncertainty of water supplies due to dry weather and court-ordered restrictions, farmers may not be able to plant more. Experts say hay prices may decline because prices dairy farmers earn for milk may decline, making top-quality hay unaffordable to dairy producers.
UC Santa Barbara scientists say women should increase consumption of broccoli, broccoli sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. Their studies show a compound in those vegetables can inhibit cell proliferation and may help prevent breast cancer. The compound kills precancerous cells. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in women. While all cruciferous vegetables have the compound, broccoli and broccoli sprouts have the most. The study was published in the December Carcinogenesis journal.
Almost all occupants of housing in rural areas depend on septic tanks for waste disposal. A law passed in 2000 gives the State Water Resources Control Board authority to regulate waste discharges that threaten to impair surface or groundwater. That board is holding public meetings to develop regulations that require property owners to have septic tanks inspected regularly. Regulations could require fees and fines and would take effect January 1, 2010.Top