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» March 17, 2009 «
Discovery of light brown apple moths outside old quarantine zones in Sonoma and Santa Clara counties has caused the California Department of Food and Agriculture to expand those zones in both counties. The quarantine zone in the Sebastopol area of Sonoma County is now 18 square miles and, in the Milpitas area of Santa Clara County, it is now 64 square miles. Movement of plant materials out of those zones is prohibited. The light brown apple moth destroys more than 2,000 plant species.
Valencia orange harvest in California is predicted to decline 6 percent from last year, according to a federal government report. The expected harvest is more than 112 million pounds. Valencia orange acreage in California has been declining in recent years as farmers switch to late-season navel oranges and mandarins in response to consumer demand. Farmers earned more than $180 million for their Valencia oranges in 2006, the most recent year for which figures are available.
An animal scientist says that the humane handling of livestock benefits the livestock business as well as animals. Temple Grandin teaches animal science at Colorado State University and has written several books about livestock. She encourages better management techniques, as well as improvement in housing facilities. One of the best-known adults with high-functioning autism, she observes details that many others don't and thus discovers better ways to deal with animals.
Home gardeners who enjoy ornamental plants have two new pepper plants to add to their repertoire. Midnight Creeper and Solar Eclipse have been developed by agricultural researchers and released to nursery distributors. The eye-catching plants are dark purple to black in color and are best used as bedding plants. The plants produce peppers for ornamental use. While the peppers are edible, they are described as either very hot or extremely hot.Top