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» June 28, 2005 «
Kern County table grape growers have voted to assess themselves to fund the fight against the glassy-winged sharpshooter. More than 77 percent of those who voted agreed to an $8 per acre assessment funding the Table Grape Pest and Disease Control District. More than 58 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. A similar referendum is under way in Tulare County with ballots to be counted August 9.
Fresh market tomato growers in California say their crop is about two weeks behind average in ripening. They say cool weather is the cause. Growers with ripe tomatoes report getting profitable prices. Rain in Florida has slowed harvest there creating added demand on the East Coast for tomatoes. However, California farmers are having difficulty finding trucks to transport their produce at reasonable cost. Trucker surcharges due to high diesel fuel costs are curbing demand.
Sweet potato farmers have added expenses this year as they nurture their crop. Late season rain has stimulated weed grow in sweet potato fields. Farmers must control those weeds with chemicals or cultivate. Wet conditions earlier this spring created planting problems as well. Growers say the crop seems to be developing properly now. However, they say a few 100-degree days would definitely be a plus for good growth. Most of the California sweet potato crop is grown in the northern San Joaquin Valley.
Final wording on a bill to update the Endangered Species Act is now being completed. It is anticipated that the measure will be introduced in the House of Representatives by mid-July. Among issues addressed in the draft bill are proposals such as tax incentives or grants to property owners who help endangered species on their land. Another proposal would require peer review of studies used to decide if a species is endangered.Top