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» April 7, 2006 «
A bill introduced in the Legislature yesterday (Thursday) addresses a controversy about proposed changes in automobile-insurance rules. Rural and suburban drivers say a plan proposed by the Insurance Department would artificially inflate their insurance rates. The Assembly bill would require a statewide study, to make sure that any changes in insurance rules result in fair rates. A California Farm Bureau representative says the bill guarantees a better way to provide a fair system for everyone.
Farmland flooding along the San Joaquin River appears possible during the next week, according to the state Department of Water Resources. Most areas where the river is expected to reach flood stage are along farm fields. Officials say the San Joaquin River is expected to stay at or near flood stage for some time, fed first by rain and then by melting snow. Levee repair crews are on alert to make emergency repairs if needed.
Strawberry production has slowed because of the rain and cold weather. But the California Strawberry Commission says there will be plenty of berries available for Easter. Rain has missed some fields in the Orange County, San Diego and Oxnard regions. As a result, the commission says, farmers continue to pick top-quality strawberries. The commission says it expects a dramatic increase in production once the weather dries and warms.
New methods to improve tractor safety could result from work being undertaken at the University of California, Davis. Researchers there have earned a half million-dollar grant to explore new methods to promote safer tractor use. Earlier research shows fewer than half of tractors have rollover bars or seat belts. The Davis research will study potential changes in safety devices and possible incentives to retrofit existing tractors.
On the Calendar:
Weed control, organic farming and other projects will be on display when the U.S. Agriculture Department research station in Salinas holds an open house today (Friday).