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» April 20, 2006 «
Wet fields have forced some farmers to abandon plans to plant processing tomatoes. The California Tomato Growers Association says it now expects this year's crop to be about 15 percent smaller than originally anticipated. Processing tomatoes are used to make products such as salsa, ketchup and spaghetti sauce. Fields north of Los Banos remain too wet to plant. Farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley are planting now, but their crops are running at least two weeks late.
Three dry days in the Sacramento Valley have not made much of an impact on rice fields. Very few farmers have been able to start field preparation for planting, because of wet fields. Typically, rice farmers would be preparing their crops for planting, and would like to have all seed planted by the end of May. This year's planting delays may encourage farmers to switch to faster-maturing varieties. Total acreage is expected to fall below earlier estimates.
The arrest of a suspected cattle rustler has left officials working to reunite stolen calves with their owners. Authorities recovered 61 calves when they arrested a man in Riverdale. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says the calves appear to have been stolen from farms in Fresno, Kings and Merced counties. Brand inspectors are using brands, ear tags and DNA tests to identify the calves and return them to their owners.
A healthy-eating program aimed at Spanish-speaking students and their parents got underway this week. The campaign will provide special, Spanish-language "open houses" at schools around California. Hosted in school cafeterias, the programs will discuss nutrition in general and, in particular, the healthy foods available through school lunch programs. It's part of a child nutrition campaign called "Stay Fit, Eat Right, Looking Good, California."Top