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» February 8, 2006 «
California State Veterinarian Dr. Richard Breitmeyer urged a group of Farm Bureau leaders to develop security plans for their own businesses. He said regulators need help in developing plans and he recognized that a one-size-fits-all approach by regulators would not work. He added the federal government now recognizes agriculture as a sector that must be protected from terrorist attack. Some government resources are now available to farmers and ranchers.
Navel orange exports are running slightly behind last year's pace, according to Sunkist Growers. However, they add the start of the season was delayed by weather, which slowed the oranges' color development. Fruit must pass certain color and sugar standards before it can be marketed. Sunkist says exports are about the same as last year week by week, and they predict the total shipments will equal last year by extending harvest operations later this year.
The nation's sheep and lamb population is on the rise, even though California's overall herd size was lower. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report says the state had 650,000 sheep and lambs as of January first, a three percent decrease from last year. At the same time, the U.S. population of this livestock increased by two percent, to more than 6.2 million. This is the first time in nearly 20 years that the nation's sheep and lamb inventory rose in consecutive years.
An A.C. Nielsen study shows a slight increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables by Americans for the first time in nearly 15 years. The increase was four percent in fruit consumption and two percent in vegetables. It marks the first increase since 1991, when studies showed a 14 percent decline. The study was commissioned by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.Top