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» August 31, 2006 «
Efforts to stop the spread of a dangerous crop pest appear to be succeeding, according to state officials. They've been fighting the glassy-winged sharpshooter, an insect that carries a plant disease that kills vineyards and other crops. The state has only reported one new infestation of the bugs this season, in south San Jose near the site of previous finds. The infestations are in residential areas, but Santa Clara County grape growers monitor their vineyards to be sure the pest stays away.
The ants keep marching into Orange County, but a local district continues its effort to control red imported fire ants. Voters there approved a program to fight the pests, after state funding ended because of budget constraints. The Orange County Vector Control District says fire ants continue to invade from neighboring counties, where control efforts have ceased. Fire ants damage crops and inflict painful stings on humans and animals.
Tests of California rice seed disclosed no traces of the biotech rice that has been found in other rice-growing regions. An independent laboratory tested the seed, and the California Rice Experiment Station released the results yesterday (Wednesday). No field trials of the biotech rice have been conducted in the state. Traces of the biotech rice were found in long-grain rice grown in other states. In California, nearly all rice is medium- or short-grain varieties.
Farm prices for eggs may stay low for the rest of the year. Analysts say the prices that California farmers earned for eggs dropped 11 cents a dozen in July, to an average of 36 cents a dozen. That means that farmers have been selling eggs at a loss. California's total egg production increased slightly in July compared to the previous month, but remained well below totals for last year at the same time.Top