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» November 15, 2006 «
An estimated 12,000 Christmas trees from around the nation will be donated to members of the armed services this holiday season. California Christmas tree growers join in donating to the Trees for Troops program. This is the second year for the program, and more farmers are participating as it kicks off this week. Most of the California-grown trees will go to families of service personnel on bases in the United States, and a few will be shipped to the Middle East.
A 93-square-mile swath of Orange County has been placed under quarantine, after crews discovered a destructive agricultural pest. Oriental fruit flies were trapped in the Santa Ana area. Eradication work has started. The quarantine prohibits movement of fresh produce from the area. Nurseries in the zone agree to treat plants before shipping. Two small, roadside farms have also been affected by the quarantine.
Rising fuel prices have meant significant changes for farmers who grow horseradish near the California-Oregon border. Farmers in the Klamath Basin grow some of the best horseradish in the nation. For years, processors on the East Coast paid transportation costs to obtain the superior product. But as fuel costs rose, the processors began requiring farmers to pay for transportation. They couldn't afford the cost either, and some horseradish went unsold this year as a result.
A tighter supply of turkey, combined with peak holiday demand, leads to a slight increase in a survey of the cost of traditional Thanksgiving food items. The American Farm Bureau says its survey shows that consumers can buy the food needed to serve 10 people for an average of about $38. That's up about 3 percent from last year's average. The Farm Bureau says most of the increase in its informal survey came from higher turkey prices.Top