Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityFor Farm Bureau comments about Williamson Act funding in the state budget
mp3 | Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» July 23, 2007 «
The state's premier farmland-protection program appears to have survived a budget scare. The Assembly passed version state budget will include money to support a program known as the Williamson Act. It provides property-tax relief to farmers and ranchers who commit to keep their land in agricultural production. The governor had once proposed to eliminate the program's state money, but a California Farm Bureau spokesman says he expects the money to remain intact.
Beginning today (Monday), produce handlers can use a service mark to demonstrate their compliance with enhanced food-safety standards for leafy greens. At the same time, California Department of Food and Agriculture inspectors begin audits to certify use of the standards for lettuce, spinach and related crops. The service mark, which features the words "CDFA Certified," will appear on shipping documents to show compliance with the standards.
Near-perfect weather encourages California rice farmers. Most of the state's rice comes from the Sacramento Valley. Farmers say they were able to plant in a timely fashion, and warm temperatures since then have helped develop the crop. If the weather holds, farmers say they expect above-average yields. The only down side is that weeds seem to be thriving along with the rice, meaning farmers face the added expense of controlling the unwanted plants.
It hasn't been an extremely hot summer in the Central Valley so far, but inspectors say heat has still had an impact on olive fruit fly populations. Crews haven't trapped one of the flies in the past two weeks. Olive fruit flies apparently don't thrive in hot weather, but researchers say they don't think it will eradicate them. The flies entered California from Mexico about a decade ago and have gradually spread into the state's main olive growing regions.Top