Food & Farm News
» January 17, 2005 «
The drought-ravaged Colorado River watershed received a welcome boost of rain and snow from the storms that lashed the region last week. The Colorado provides a crucial water source for farms and cities in Southern California and other states. Officials who monitor the river say water runoff may return to average levels this year. But they caution that recovery from the region's long drought will require several years of at least average precipitation.
By observing the environmental movement, an analyst says farm groups can learn how to win more public support for their viewpoints. Political scholar Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute says environmental groups have been "extraordinarily effective" in attracting support for their causes. Ornstein told an audience at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting that farm groups should combine science, public relations and politics to win public support.
The first month following bloom appears to be a crucial period for fruit trees. University of California farm advisors say weather immediately following the bloom seems to be a key in predicting when peaches, nectarines, plums and other tree fruits will mature. They say hot weather following the fruit bloom last March affected crops all season long. Fruit specialists recommend tree-fruit farmers pay particular attention to their crops during the period right after bloom.
At a time when honeybees face mounting threats from parasites and diseases, federal agricultural researchers say they have a new tool to protect the insects. Scientists have mapped the honeybee's genetic code, and say they'll use that information to help assure bees' welfare and productivity. Besides making honey, bees pollinate more than 90 flowering crops. California farmers have predicted shortages of bees, because a parasite has attacked many hives.Top