Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityPossible congressional action on estate tax repeal
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» July 22, 2005 «
Farm groups continue to press for permanent repeal of the federal estate tax, and analysts say Congress may vote on the matter next week. The issue has been important to farmers, because they say the "death tax" complicates efforts to pass family farms from one generation to the next. An American Farm Bureau spokeswoman says repealing the tax will be especially important to California farmers, because of the state's high land values.
Dairy farmers use a variety of cooling devices to keep their cows comfortable on hot summer days. In the Imperial Valley, where temperatures have surpassed 110 degrees for more than a week, some dairies have installed cooling corrals that drop temperatures as much as 20 degrees. Even so, California cows will likely produce less milk this month. And, the longer the heat lasts, the less milk they give. Some cows produce up to a third less milk during hot weather.
Fewer potatoes have been planted in California and throughout the nation this year … and, in some cases, acreage will be at record lows. Government statistics show California farmers planted 5 percent less potato acreage for fall harvest and 11 percent less for summer harvest. Wet weather delayed planting of the summer crop by as much as three weeks. Nationally, the estimate indicates a record low amount of potato acreage this summer.
It's one of the most destructive agricultural pests, so the Mediterranean fruit fly is a key target for pest fighters in California and other farming regions around the world. Scientists with a federal research agency say a lure that they developed will help prevent Medfly outbreaks. Researchers say the bait has shown to be both effective and environmentally friendly. It's now being used in the U.S. and other nations.Top