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Audio ActualityDomestic provisions of the Iraq war spending bill
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» May 29, 2007 «
A one-year infusion of money for rural schools and services will result from a provision in the Iraq war-spending bill approved by Congress last week. The bill restores a program to replace money that rural schools and county governments lost when logging restrictions reduced timber revenue from federal land. The final bill also includes disaster aid for California farmers and ranchers who suffered losses from this year's freeze and last year's heat wave.
After being shortened by the state's severe January freeze, the California navel orange harvest is winding down. The California Citrus Growers Association says most farmers will run out of fruit by the end of the week. The association says farmers were surprised at how many oranges remained undamaged after the freeze. The quality of that remaining fruit has been high, but harvest will end about a month earlier than usual.
Prices for fresh oranges jumped, after the freeze cut California's production … but shoppers were spared the full impact. A government report says average on-farm prices for oranges rose 68 percent after the freeze … but average consumer prices rose just 27 percent. Fresh oranges represent an important wintertime item for supermarkets, and the report says retailers appeared willing to accept a smaller markup to attract shoppers.
Could a serious tomato virus have entered California on a tomato plant purchased on the Internet? At least one agricultural commissioner thinks so. The San Diego County commissioner warns residents not to purchase tomato plants from other states, because new plant diseases might enter California as a result. Yellow leaf curl virus reached the state for the first time this year and threatens tomatoes grown by home gardeners and commercial farmers alike.Top