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» September 11, 2006 «
After the September 11 terrorist attacks five years ago, farmers and ranchers enhanced their actions to protect their animals, their crops and the food supply. The head of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security in Davis says farmers continue to improve security. He says the institute takes an "all-hazards approach," training farmers and ranchers to respond to natural disasters, deliberate attacks and accidental introduction of pests or disease.
A federal disaster declaration means California farmers and ranchers may be eligible for emergency aid for losses from the severe July heat. Governor Schwarzenegger's office announced (Friday) that the U.S. Agriculture Department had declared disasters in 16 California counties because of heat-related losses. Farmers in those counties may apply for low-interest emergency loans. So may farmers in the 32 counties that neighbor those counties.
The combination of untimely spring rains and the searing July heat wave has cost California farmers and ranchers more than $600 million dollars in crop losses so far this year. A California Farm Bureau survey of county agricultural commissioners' offices indicates that estimated weather-related losses have reached at least $608 million. Tulare County had the largest dollar losses, mainly related to dairy cows killed by the heat wave.
In what one organization calls a positive step for California beef producers, South Korea will resume imports of U.S. beef. South Korea said (Friday) that American beef could start reaching its ports next month. The California Beef Council says Korea had been the second-largest foreign customer for California beef. It lifted a ban on American beef it imposed in 2003, in response to a U.S discovery of the cattle disease BSE.Top