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» June 3, 2009 «
Beekeepers are reporting fewer instances of colony collapse disorder this year, according to a government report. Researchers think, based on historic data, that the disorder may have run its course. However, no cure for the disorder has been found. In the past, similar disease and mite problems have peaked beehive reduction in three to five years. Honeybees perform about 80 percent of plant pollination. California ranks second nationally in honey production. North Dakota is first.
California continues to lead the nation in milk production, while Wisconsin still produces the most cheese, according to a federal government report. However, the Golden State does lead in Italian cheese production, with more than 29 percent of the mozzarella, provolone and ricotta being produced here. California also leads the nation in butter production, with almost 34 percent of the total. The Golden State leads in ice cream production as well.
Researchers are developing management plans for dealing with the light brown apple moth using parasitoids, which are insects that attack the light brown apple moth. The moth was first discovered in California two years ago and has spread along the coast as far south as Ventura County and north to Sonoma County. Left unchecked, the moth could cause more than $130 million in damage to California crops as well as damage backyard trees and gardens. Quarantines are in place to limit the spread of the exotic pest.
California egg production declined about 16 million from March to April, according to a federal government report. Growers earned about 85 cents per dozen, about 12 cents a dozen more than in March but 8 cents less than in April 2008. Last year was a better one for egg ranchers as they earned about $441 million in 2008, a 27-percent increase from the previous year. Growers do not produce enough to meet consumer demand in California and eggs are imported from other states.Top