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» July 16, 2007 «
Saying they want to stave off potentially serious problems for beekeepers and crop pollination, federal researchers announced (Friday) an action plan to address colony collapse disorder in honeybees. The U.S. Agriculture Department says it has already done considerable work on the disorder. Its new action plan focuses on research needed to pinpoint why honeybee colonies have been collapsing. Farmers rely on bees to pollinate more than 130 different crops each year.
As the House Agriculture Committee works on developing the 2007 Farm Bill this week, members of the California Farm Bureau staff are in Washington to encourage programs that benefit the state's farmers, ranchers and consumers. For California, parts of the Farm Bill that help farmers open new markets are particularly important. So are research and conservation programs, and nutritional programs that give consumers greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
A delay in planting means a delayed California watermelon harvest, but observers say the harvest is going well otherwise. A federal government report says California watermelon fields have been free of crop disease. Consumers should find good supplies, even though farmers in some growing regions in other states must cope with floods. The National Watermelon Board says shoppers will see more orange- and yellow-fleshed melons this year.
With the California navel orange harvest now essentially complete, estimators can assess the impact of last January's punishing freeze. A government report says the state's navel-orange production dropped 28 percent, compared to the previous crop, and the freeze takes the blame. The report says the freeze forced a higher proportion of the crop to be sold for juice, rather than as fresh fruit.Top