Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityBiosecurity to keep bird flu from California poultry flocks
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» September 29, 2005 «
Health experts monitoring the spread of avian influenza in Asia say they're confident in their ability to protect California poultry farms from the disease. University of California veterinarians say the state's poultry farms use tight "biosecurity" methods to keep their birds away from wildfowl. The California Poultry Federation says it provides training for farmers and workers to alert them to bird illness and to secure their farms.
It's the latest harvest in memory for many longtime raisin-grape growers, who hope they can gather their crops before autumn rains cause damage. To qualify for crop insurance, farmers must have harvested raisin grapes by September 20th, so those harvesting now face additional risks. Farmers attribute harvest delays to weather, to a shortage of workers to pick the grapes, and to a lack of the paper trays on which grapes are laid to dry.
As they prepare for this year's harvest, cotton farmers belonging to the state's largest marketing cooperative have learned what they will earn for last season's crop. The Calcot cooperative said this week it will pay members a record $1.37 a pound for pima-variety cotton. Pima cotton is a premium variety used in a number of textiles. Calcot said prices for all cotton remained fairly stable despite record production worldwide.
By learning more about a friendly bacterium, researchers say they'll be better able to develop natural controls for plant diseases. The U.S. Agriculture Department announced yesterday (Wednesday) that scientists have developed a genetic map for the beneficial bacterium. The helpful bacteria reside on pears, apples, cotton and vegetables, acting as a natural control of pathogens that threaten plant health.Top