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» March 28, 2006 «
As experts predict that wild birds will bring avian flu into California this spring, poultry farmers count on strict security standards to protect their flocks. Many California farmers tightened their on-farm security standards, after a different poultry disease caused severe losses in Southern California three years ago. Farmers say that by keeping their birds protected, they can greatly reduce the chance of avian flu affecting their flocks.
Wildlife agencies will re-evaluate the amount of land set aside for five protected species, under a lawsuit settlement announced yesterday (Monday). The Pacific Legal Foundation says the settlement affects more than a quarter-million acres of land in nine counties, mainly along the Central and Southern California coast. The foundation says the government failed to identify areas that are truly essential habitat for the species, and relied on incomplete information.
Rainstorms every few days in California's rice-growing regions cause concerns among farmers. Few have been able to do any fieldwork, and each additional storm means additional time is needed to dry the soil. Water continues to flow through the bypasses around Sacramento. Farmers who usually grow rice on that land will probably not be able to do so this year because the fields won't be dry in time. Rice farmers like to have their crop planted by late May.
A water-quality program conducted by California farmers has earned national recognition. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present one of its Environmental Achievement Awards to the Imperial County Farm Bureau. The award recognizes a program to reduce sediment in drain water that leaves farms. About 98 percent of Imperial County farmers participate in the water-quality program, obtaining advice on ways to reduce sediment.Top