Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» August 2, 2005 «
Dairy groups say they're "very disappointed" by a regulatory board's new estimate of dairy farms' impact on air quality. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District said yesterday (Monday) it would raise its estimate of dairy farm emissions. Groups representing dairy farmers called the estimate "fundamentally flawed." The groups say air-quality experts have raised significant questions about the estimate, and that the district's action will bring "unwarranted regulation" to many family dairies.
A new program aims to benefit air quality by encouraging farmers to convert diesel-powered irrigation pumps to electric power. Signups began yesterday for incentives offered by Pacific Gas and Electric and by Southern California Edison. Both companies offer reduced electric rates to farmers who permanently retire a diesel irrigation pump. PG&E says replacing a diesel pump with an electric one reduces emissions by about 98 percent.
State workplace-safety experts have suggested new rules to protect workers from overheating on hot days. If adopted, the rules would govern farms, construction areas and other outdoor worksites. The California Farm Bureau said it would continue to work with the state in finalizing the standard. Farm groups say the requirements for drinking water, shade and training should benefit workers while providing employers the flexibility to respond to their specific conditions.
Short supplies of high-quality hay mean dairy farmers face higher prices and a search for alternative feed for their cows. Farmers planted less hay around California this year, and then weather hit the crop as well. Early cuttings of hay, which usually produce high quality, suffered rain damage. More recently, hot weather has reduced hay quality. Farmers say their fields may yield one less cutting of hay than usual this season.Top