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» November 29, 2005 «
Increased populations of an insect pest in the Coachella Valley heighten the danger of a plant disease reaching the valley's vineyards. University of California experts say the Pierce's Disease bacterium has been found in Coachella Valley vineyards ... and that the glassy-winged sharpshooter could spread the disease. The UC report recommends continuing treatments for the sharpshooter, which it credits with checking the insect's spread.
Storms this week could push rainfall totals in Northern California above average, according to the state Department of Water Resources. But Southern California remains drier than average. Because there is a long potential rainy season ahead, water officials say it is too soon for concern. Storage in the state's reservoirs remains about 20 percent above average for this time of year, thanks to carryover from last year's storms.
At least one California Christmas tree farmer has found a rapidly expanding specialty market. Businesses such as banks, insurance offices and similar locations want Christmas trees for the holidays. The California Christmas Tree Association says the grower installs trees in offices and decorates them for a fee. When the season is over, the grower also disposes of the trees. Now, upscale residential clients are also taking advantage of the service.
New, on-farm uses for propane may result from a series of studies being conducted by government and university researchers. In one example, scientists developed a plant defoliator that uses propane to produce hot air that is applied to plants. The hot air removes the leaves from cotton plants ... a necessary step before harvest. Another project could explore whether propane could be used for steam-based heat treatments to control pests in stored crops.Top