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Audio ActualityNew Zealand agriculture minister Jim Anderton
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» July 13, 2007 «
A million-dollar haul of stolen herbicide has been recovered in the Central Valley. The agriculture crimes task force of the San Joaquin County sheriff's department reported yesterday (Thursday) that the herbicide had been recovered at a storage unit in Sacramento. The chemical, used to treat alfalfa fields for weeds, had been stolen more than 18 months ago. Potential buyers recognized the herbicide as stolen when it was to be auctioned at a sale of abandoned property at the storage unit
It looks like an average-sized grape crop in California vineyards this season. A government estimate predicts that total grape production will increase 7 percent, compared to last year. The report says all three types of grapes--wine, raisin and table grapes--will have larger crops this year. Table-grape harvest has gotten underway in the Coachella and San Joaquin valleys. Fruit quality is reported as very good and consistent.
The peak of the California tree fruit harvest will continue for the next several weeks, meaning strong supplies of fresh peaches, plums and nectarines will be available at retail stores. As the harvest pace increases, the California Tree Fruit Agreement says Central Valley farmers are struggling to hire enough people to pick the fruit. It's common for farmers to have smaller harvest crews than they'd normally use, and some farmers report that they're a couple days behind schedule as a result.
During a visit to California this week, New Zealand's top farm official said more than 100 years' worth of research pays dividends for his nation's farmers and ranchers. After speaking to a Farm Bureau group in Sacramento, agriculture minister Jim Anderton said New Zealand's investment in agricultural research has allowed the farm sector to expand faster than his nation's general economy. Anderton visited as part of a trade mission to the United States and Mexico.Top