Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» June 9, 2006 «
Farm groups say they will continue to press for full, permanent repeal of the federal estate tax. The U.S. Senate fell three votes shy yesterday (Thursday) of advancing a bill to repeal the tax permanently. Senate Republican leaders vow to bring the measure up again before the election. The House of Representatives has voted to repeal the tax. The California Farm Bureau says the "death tax" stands as an obstacle in passing farms from one generation to the next.
Strawberry growers continue to increase production, but have not yet equaled last year's record pace. As of this week, farmers had shipped more than 650 million pounds of strawberries. That's down nearly 10 percent from the same time a year ago. But the California Strawberry Commission says it remains optimistic that the harvest will eventually set a new record. Most berries now come from the Salinas-Watsonville area, which got off to a late start because of wet, cool weather.
A mild winter in the Coachella Valley has affected the region's table grape crop. It's lighter than average, but shippers report that fruit quality is good. The grape harvest has started, but farms are shipping thousands of boxes a day instead of tens of thousands. The arrival of hot temperatures in the desert valley has farmers modifying cultural practices to protect their grapes from the direct sun.
California refineries have shifted to a new formulation of diesel fuel, and the state Energy Commission says the switchover has occurred without a severe impact on fuel supplies. In fact, the commission says there's more diesel fuel available in the state now than at the same time a year ago. As of June 1st, refineries must make what's called "ultra low sulfur" diesel fuel, to comply with state air-quality regulations.Top