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» June 3, 2005 «
Farming remains a challenge on parts of the San Joaquin Delta island that flooded when a levee failed a year ago today (Friday). Some crops have been planted on Jones Tract, where 11,000 acres were inundated during last year's levee failure. But water continues to seep through the repaired levee, leaving the land on that part of the island unusable for farming. The flood ruined about $15 million worth of crops.
Beef exports have been disrupted for many months, and farm representatives from two countries met in Sacramento yesterday (Thursday) to discuss the problem. Leaders of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association met with the California Farm Bureau Trade Advisory Committee. The Canadians want greater access to the U.S. market, which was restricted after the cattle disease BSE was found in Canada. U.S. ranchers say their beef exports remain hampered, after a single case of BSE in Washington.
Crop-based ethanol will remain a part of California gasoline, as a result of a government ruling yesterday. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said California, New York and Connecticut must continue adding an "oxygenate" to fuel, in order to meet Clean Air Act requirements. Ethanol replaces the banned fuel additive MTBE. The American Farm Bureau welcomed the decision, saying it will benefit consumers and farmers alike.
An effort to assure pleasing flavor has led to changes in the way farms handle peaches, nectarines and plums after they're harvested. The University of California has changed its recommendations for how to handle tree fruit, and says the new method yields better-tasting fruit that lasts longer. Instead of cooling fruit immediately after harvest, participating packers now hold it at 68 degrees for about two days before cooling it.Top