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» April 29, 2005 «
The on-farm value of California milk production has surpassed $5 billion for the first time. A report issued yesterday (Thursday) says farmers sold milk with an on-farm value of more than $5.3 billion. A sharp recovery in farm milk prices combined with a slight increase in milk production, to boost the sales total. California is the nation's top milk-producing state.
Seeking to avoid federal interference in state water laws, farm groups oppose a bill that would allow the University of Nevada to buy water rights from landowners. The measure has been attached to a federal appropriations bill, now being discussed in a conference committee. The university wants to buy land, and water rights, to conduct restoration projects in Nevada's Walker River Basin. The American Farm Bureau says such water-rights questions should be left to state governments.
An expanding crop in California, blueberries, has begun reaching wholesale markets. More farmers have been planting blueberries, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. Most California fruit now reaching market comes from coastal growing regions. Blueberry growers in the San Joaquin Valley say they will start picking in early May, and that warmer temperatures would speed crop development. Wholesale blueberry prices have been high because of cool weather in Florida, which has delayed harvest there.
Making fruit more convenient, California-based researchers have found a formula that preserves sliced apples without changing their color, taste or texture. Working at a U.S. Agriculture Department facility in Albany, the researchers developed a coating from calcium and vitamin C. It can preserve refrigerated apple slices for up to 28 days. Some fast-food restaurants use the coating on the apple slices they are now selling.
On the Calendar:
The Lemon Festival opens today (Friday) in Upland.