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» January 30, 2006 «
This is food check-out week, the time when according to government statistics the average American has earned enough to pay for the family food supply for the entire year. Most Americans work until mid-April to pay their taxes, but only five weeks to pay for food. Farm Bureau promotes the week to make consumers aware that they pay only nine and a half percent of disposable income for food, less than citizens of any other country. Americans enjoy the safest most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world.
Winter rainfall in the San Joaquin Valley is running a little above normal and growers who plant cover crops in their raisin grape vineyards report plants are doing very well. Despite a tight labor supply for the pruning and tying of vines, the work is progressing and growers have several more weeks in which to finish the job. As the vineyards begin to dry from January rainstorms, growers are busy applying dormant sprays and preparing fields for new grape plantings.
Investigators with the California Department of Food and Agriculture have seized more than 600 pounds of illegally produced soft cheese, also known as bathtub cheese. Working with local law enforcement in Southern California, they seized one of the largest quantities of illegal cheese on record. Evidence at the scene near Perris, indicates sizeable production capability. Illegally produced cheese poses a serious health risk as it could contain harmful bacteria.
California remains the nation&39;s number one vegetable source, though a new report said 2005 values were down. A US Department of Agriculture report says the state's farmers produced nearly half of the nation's fresh vegetables and supplied more than 60 percent of the processing vegetables. Fresh market value of nearly four point six billion dollars was down 12 percent from 2004. Overall production was down slightly. California's top processing vegetables also dropped in value, largely on canning tomato declines.Top