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» January 27, 2005 «
Dairy cows have a much smaller impact on air quality than previously thought, according to results of a new scientific study. University of California researchers said yesterday (Wednesday) that their calculations indicate cows produce only half the amount of emissions that had been assumed. The three-month study, conducted at UC Davis, monitored dairy cows in a controlled environmental chamber. Researchers say their findings may influence both regulators and dairy farmers.
After a stretch of tough years for California grape growers, analysts say supplies of wine and grapes have now fallen back in line with demand. Experts speaking at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento yesterday estimated 100,000 acres of grapes have been removed from production in the Central Valley. That, plus improving wine quality and other factors, have enhanced the prospects for the state's wine business.
New storms threaten additional crop damage in Southern California. Forecasters have predicted as much as an inch of rain in San Diego County, where farmers say they hope the soil has dried enough to absorb that much precipitation. San Diego County now estimates about $1.5 million dollars in farm damage from earlier storms, with strawberries suffering the most. Riverside County reports damage to about 10 percent of the county's date crop.
Consolidation in the meatpacking business now includes the planned closure of a Sacramento Valley meat processing plant. Cargill Value Added Products announced this week it plans to close its plant in Marysville. The company said it was a business decision to consolidate operations to other plants, including one in Arkansas. The Marysville meat facility has employed more than 200 workers and is scheduled to close at the end of May.
On the Calendar:
The California Irrigation Institute holds its annual conference beginning today (Thursday) in Davis. The state Board of Food and Agriculture meets in Sacramento.