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» May 15, 2006 «
Immigration reform returns to the top of the agenda in Washington today (Monday), with the Senate due to resume debate and the president scheduled to speak to the nation about immigration this evening. Farm groups continue to press for reform that includes both increased border enforcement and a flexible guestworker program. A guestworker program for agriculture reportedly will be part of the bill that the Senate will debate.
It's yellow, it's spiny and it seems to be everywhere. It's yellow starthistle ... and the University of California says it's the fastest-spreading invader plant in California history. UC plant scientists estimate the weed has spread onto more than 14 million of the state's 101 million total acres. The starthistle chokes out native plants on rangelands, bothers grazing animals and poisons horses. Its range now includes most of Northern and Central California.
A coordinated marketing campaign to sell Hass avocados could result from a cooperative effort among growers and shippers in five countries. The Hass Avocado Board, based in Irvine, involves farmers and marketers from California, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. It sees high market potential in the U.S., noting that per-person avocado consumption in Mexico is more than six times greater than here.
Strong demand from landscapers has taken a bite out of California date production. The landscapers offer date growers good money for mature palm trees, to be transplanted near homes and offices in Las Vegas and other desert communities. The California Date Commission says the market is so strong that it complicates predictions of future date crops. It takes about 10 years for date palms to come into production, and some farmers have sold trees that could still produce fruit.Top