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» March 23, 2007 «
The first weekend of spring will likely be a busy one for plant nurseries, and nursery growers consider this to be their prime season. After a slow start, nursery operators say demand has begun to increase now that weather has improved. They anticipate strong sales as consumers seek to replace plants destroyed by the winter freeze. Growers who produce indoor plants say their business peaks in spring also, as shoppers pick up indoor plants while looking for the outdoor varieties.
More sightings of an invasive pest in the Bay Area have state officials planning to keep it out of farming regions. So far, trappers have found 27 light brown apple moths, within a 30-square-mile region of Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Federal authorities say the moth attacks some 250 plant species, but can be particular trouble for orchard fruits and for grapes. Experts are developing an eradication plan.
By the time of next year's rice harvest, a Sacramento Valley company may start using leftover rice straw to manufacture construction material. The company said this week that it plans to break ground next month on a factory in Willows. The plant would create fiberboard from rice straw. Currently, most of the straw is plowed back into the ground after harvest, but farmers and companies have been looking for profitable ways to reuse the straw.
A conversation between a cow and a farmer ... a spaceship landing in a hayfield ... and a scarecrow's diary are among the topics of stories that won a statewide student writing contest. Six winners of the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom "Imagine This" contest will be honored in Sacramento today (Friday). The stories focus on farm themes and were written by students in 3rd grade through 8th grade. Each winning story is produced as a short, animated film by high school students.Top