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» October 26, 2006 «
With Thanksgiving now less than a month away, California turkey producers have started gearing up to meet holiday demand. About half a dozen farmers in the state produce "specialty" turkeys ... those sold as organic, free range or for other specific markets. At holiday times, a number of California retailers carry the specialty turkeys under their brand names. The growers produce only a set number of birds, so they encourage consumers to buy or request the turkeys early.
Three new reports underscore the importance of bees to agricultural production. A study co-authored by a University of California professor says that bees, birds and other pollinators contribute to more than one-third of the world's crop production. Also yesterday (Wednesday), a UC Irvine researcher reported new information about the origin of honeybees, and the U.S. Agriculture Department said research into the honeybee genome will help bees resist pests and diseases.
Twenty members of Congress from California have earned recognition for their votes to protect family farmers and ranchers. The representatives will receive "Friends of Farm Bureau" awards. The Farm Bureau based the award on each member's voting record on congressional issues that affect farmers and ranchers. To qualify, a member must have at least a 70-percent favorable voting record, and California recipients mostly scored higher than that.
The coming winter will be wetter than average and cooler than average in much of California, according to the annual forecast from The Old Farmer's Almanac. The almanac claims an 80 percent accuracy rating for its long-term forecasts. It predicts a rainy, snowy November and January. A spokesman says the almanac correctly predicted snow and cold that hit California last fall, but acknowledges it failed to predict the state's record-warm January.Top