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» September 12, 2005 «
A successful program to combat rural crime has received a new lease on life from the state Legislature. The Central Valley Rural Crime Prevention Program will be extended through 2009, under the bill sent to Governor Schwarzenegger. Authorization for the program had expired earlier this year. The program coordinates crime-prevention work among sheriffs' departments, prosecutors and agricultural commissioners in eight counties.
In each of the past two weeks, there's been a significant drop in new cases of West Nile virus among horses ... but officials at the California Department of Food and Agriculture say it's too soon to say the peak of infections has been reached. They say cooler temperatures the past two weeks may have caused the lower numbers, and a return of warmer weather could cause infections to rise again. The virus has killed 149 horses in California this year.
Higher cheese and butter prices will cause a slight increase in the price California dairy farmers earn for milk. The on-farm price of a gallon of milk will increase about 3 cents on October 1st, to $1.34. The on-farm milk price remains below levels of earlier in the summer. The state sets farm milk prices but does not control retail prices.
More than a billion pounds of strawberries have been harvested from California farms already this year ... and growers continue to produce fruit in record numbers. The California Strawberry Commission says production is 10 percent ahead of a year ago. Crop volume will soon surpass last year's record. The commission attributes the production increase to ideal weather and ongoing improvements in farming methods.Top