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» November 11, 2005 «
President Bush has signed an appropriations bill to fund the U.S. Agriculture Department in the new fiscal year. The bill contains provisions of particular interest to California farmers and ranchers. For example, it provides research money into Pierce's disease, a crop ailment that threatens winegrapes. There is also funding for programs to prevent exotic pests and diseases. Most USDA money goes toward food stamp and nutrition programs.
There's disappointment at the University of California, about part of the federal budget. Officials at UC Davis say the final budget does not include money for a planned new food safety and defense research center. It would have been the first Food and Drug Administration center to address food safety needs specific to California and Western states. The existing centers are located in Maryland, Illinois and Mississippi.
With pleasant autumn weather forecast for much of the nation this weekend, more Americans will be able to spend time in their gardens ... and that's good news for Southern California nursery operators. They say fall business seems to be picking up, as favorable weather stimulates demand for garden plants. That's a welcome change from the spring, when nursery business was hurt by cold, wet weather. Much demand now is for plants that will survive the winter in colder locations.
Government data confirm that women still spend much more time on food preparation and cleanup than men do. Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women spend an average 47 minutes a day in food preparation and cleanup, compared to 15 minutes for men. Women also spend more time grocery shopping. Men did spend slightly more time eating and drinking than women. Researchers say the data will help them study eating and time-use patterns.Top