Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» July 24, 2006 «
Three horses in California have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus this year, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Two were reported by Merced County and one by Tulare. Two of the three animals have died. While the number of cases thus far is less than last year at this time, veterinarians are urging all horse owners to have their animals vaccinated against the disease.
Pine trees are important for the U.S. lumber and paper industries. But farmers know it can take 30 years or more for a pine stand to mature and turn a profit. Researchers are looking for ways to add farm income and keep American pine supplies available to consumers. One aspect is to harvest pine needles for use as mulch in landscaping. Researchers are also developing agro forestry practices that would permit pine tree growth on marginal soils.
Sonoma County grape growers have voted to form the Sonoma County Grape Growers Commission, replacing the existing association. The new organization will come into being August 7 when the association board meets. The commission will be funded by an assessment on grapes farmers' produce, rather than member dues. The new commission will promote Sonoma County wines. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says it is the fourth such entity to do so. The others are Mendocino and Lake counties and the Lodi district.
Scientists have discovered biological controls for a fungal disease that attacks cereal grains such as wheat, barley and oats. Fusarium graminerarum is among the most costly diseases, causing and estimated $2.7 billion in damage from 1998 to 2000 to U.S. farmers. Researchers have patented the biological controls, which is the first step in commercial development. The discovery is timely, as government regulators are phasing out many fungicides used to fight the disease.Top