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» August 31, 2005 «
The high cost of fuel has whittled away profits for many tomato farmers. As they harvest the processing tomatoes used for tomato sauce, ketchup and other products, farmers say they've seen harvest costs skyrocket. The California Tomato Growers Association says harvest costs averaged $72 an acre two years ago ... but now have reached more than $200. Fuel costs make up a large part of the increase, and farmers must absorb the additional costs.
Hot weather took a toll on California milk production this summer. Cows produced less milk in July than in June. The average amount of milk produced by each cow declined about 2 percent during the month. The state's overall milk production remains higher than a year ago, because of a larger cow population. The farmers' organization Western United Dairymen says there are 31,000 more cows being milked in the state than there were a year ago.
Beef-producer groups say they're encouraged by plans for a public/private partnership to monitor the movement of animals from ranch to market. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Tuesday) the system will allow authorities to trace animals from processing plants back to their points of origin within 48 hours. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association says the proposal also provides better protection for the confidentiality of producer information.
Citing her consistent concern for family farmers and ranchers, the California Farm Bureau Federation has endorsed Dianne Feinstein for re-election to the United States Senate. Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli noted the senator's interest in water storage, pest and disease prevention, and other issues that affect farms and ranches. The endorsement comes more than a year before the senator stands for re-election, which Pauli said demonstrates the Farm Bureau's confidence in herTop