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» June 22, 2006 «
Japan has reopened its borders to U.S. beef on the condition that Japanese inspectors find no further problems during onsite inspections in U.S. processing facilities. Japan had been America's largest export market, buying $1.4 billion annually when it banned U.S. beef in 2003 after one case of BSE disease was discovered in Washington State. U.S. cattlemen welcomed the news and hope to be sending beef to Japan soon.
Hot weather creates additional work for tree farmers. Some have more worries than others. But farm advisors say water is the key to minimizing damage. Farmers will increase irrigation frequency during hot weather. Almond trees originated in the hot Mediterranean region and tolerate heat better than other trees. Walnut and citrus growers use a variety of techniques to minimize heat and sunburn damage, including sprays and added irrigation.
Many apple growers have installed overhead sprinkler systems to cool their orchards in hot weather. Those growers will be using those devices this week as heat builds in the Central Valley. Farmers say the water can cool orchards as much as 10 degrees. That's enough to keep apples sizing and later helps fruit develop color. Farmers say they have good fruit set, and are working to minimize heat damage. Farmers without the new sprinklers will irrigate more frequently to keep trees healthy.
Citrus peels may soon be used to put fuel into your gasoline tank. Researchers say the waste product has sugar content, which can be used to produce ethanol, a gasoline additive now produced mainly from corn. Most of the citrus peels are now sold as cattle feed, which is low in value. The process converting the peels to ethanol shows economic promise for large-volume production.Top