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» June 25, 2007 «
A judge's decision averted potentially serious consequences for farmers who depend on water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. A federal judge in Fresno refused (Friday) to issue an order to stop the pumping. Environmental groups said the pumping threatens protected fish but water agencies say the fish have now migrated away from the pumps. A California Farm Bureau spokesman said a cutoff of pumping now could have forced some farmers to abandon crops in midseason.
Summertime vegetable prices at the supermarket should be lower than they were last year … if the weather cooperates. Analysts for the U.S. Agriculture Department say they anticipate steady volumes of vegetables to market from California, and that harvests in the East and Midwest have gotten off to a strong start. But weather is the wild card. Extreme heat in the summer of 2006 caused vegetable prices to jump.
With prices for the grain having risen during the past year, there's a lot more corn planted in California this summer, and farmers say their crops appear to be maturing about a week ahead of average. Some corn has already developed ears. Once it's harvested, the California-grown corn will go mainly into feed for dairy cows and other livestock. Demand for corn to produce ethanol has contributed to higher prices nationwide.
By bouncing infrared light off of plants, researchers say they can detect whether the plants are growing well or need more attention. U.S. Agriculture Department scientists say the technique may help greenhouse owners detect early signs of stress in their plants. A change in the way leaves reflect light could indicate a need for more nutrients. The researchers want to develop an inexpensive, portable sensor for greenhouse operators to use.Top