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» June 13, 2007 «
A new state law for securing cargo on trucks has changed the way agricultural commodities are hauled. It could jeopardize this year's harvest if truckers are unable to comply with the new requirements. There isn't time to retrofit existing trucks. In addition, necessary equipment is backordered. Farm Bureau is working with government agencies in an effort to grant an exemption for farm goods to provide time for haulers to obtain the necessary equipment. Without it consumers might have difficulty finding their favorite produce items in retail stores.
California wheat farmers are reporting yields well above average as they continue their harvest operations. San Joaquin Valley growers are reporting three tons per acre, according to the California Wheat Commission. They've benefited from near perfect weather. However, there are a number of dryland farmers in Southern California that have lost their entire crop to drought. Prices remain good as well with buyers paying $172 dollars a ton this year compared to $115 dollars a ton last year.
Researchers have begun studies to determine how antioxidants found in various foods actually perform inside the human body. Volunteers ate many different fruits to determine how the body absorbs the antioxidants. Blood samples from the volunteers showed antioxidant increases after participants ate grapes and kiwifruit. When asked to consume a shake containing protein but no antioxidants, levels in the blood dropped. Additional research is needed to determine how antioxidants are absorbed.
Rice farmers say the season is off to a good start. After two wet years, planting this year was right on time, as fields dried off early. Three warm spells since the crop was planted have helped the grain emerge to a nice stand. Planting of this year crop is finished, in California, and growers are now applying weed control. Nationwide most of the crop is planted except in Texas where heavy rains in some regions have farmers wondering if they will be able to plant a crop.Top