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» December 16, 2005 «
For the first time in nearly two years, California-grown beef has reached Tokyo. A shipment of 10,000 pounds of beef from the Harris Ranch company arrived this week, just days after Japan lifted its ban on U.S. beef. The ranch shipped the order by airfreight, and says it has orders for another 40,000 pounds. Other California beef exporters are also preparing to resume shipments to Japan.
A federal lawsuit filed this week brings new attention to the question of how federal agencies count fish. The suit seeks to establish that the agencies should count hatchery-raised fish, as well as wild fish, when determining whether salmon should be considered as endangered or threatened. Those decisions can affect water supplies and land use for farmers and others. The case involves fish in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
Cooler-than-average temperatures and overcast skies have slowed vegetable harvest in the Imperial Valley. The lack of sunlight means vegetables just aren't growing as fast. Weather forecasts predict a return to average temperatures in the desert early next week. When temperatures reach the 70s, the plants will respond and the harvest will accelerate. Growers say demand has been strong for the vegetables they are able to harvest.
The continued shortage of Florida grapefruit means additional demand for fruit grown in California and Texas. Grapefruit harvest continues in the California desert and southern coastal areas. Inspectors say Florida trees that were hit by hurricanes were battered, but already show signs of recovery. Even so, those trees won't produce fruit this year. Florida farmers continue cleanup operations in groves where hurricanes blew trees down.Top