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» August 22, 2006 «
A short-term solution is in the works, to preserve a program that provides money to rural schools, roads and other services in three-dozen California counties. The Bush administration has agreed to work with Congress to extend the program for one year. The program replaces government money lost when logging restrictions reduced timber revenue from federal land. It will expire September 30th, and the one-year extension would allow time to find a long-term solution.
With school beginning and the summer grilling season coming to a close in much of the country, shoppers could see retail beef prices come down further. The U.S. Agriculture Department says retail prices for Choice-grade beef averaged $3.88 a pound last month, down 3 percent from the same time a year ago. Demand for beef remains strong, but the report says prospects for larger supplies could reduce retail prices.
Sparked by a 50-percent jump in fuel costs, total spending on farm supplies and services rose 12 percent in California last year. An annual government report showed that the average California farm spent nearly $12,000 on fuel, up from almost $8,000 the previous year. Farms also saw sharp spending increases on energy-related items such as fertilizer and farm chemicals.
To their admirers, family farmers seem like larger-than-life figures ... and in Humboldt County, a pair of larger-than-life images promotes the area's agricultural heritage. Two, 16-foot-tall paintings greet drivers along Highway 211 near Ferndale. One shows a dairyman, the other a dairywoman. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau says the paintings mark the first phase of its "Larger Than Life" campaign to promote locally grown farm products.Top