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» August 23, 2007 «
A key farmland-conservation program stands one step from renewal. The final state budget adopted by the Legislature this week includes money for the Williamson Act. The program reduces property-tax rates for farmers who commit to keep their land in agricultural production. Maintaining the state's $39 million fund to support the program was a key goal for farm groups, whose members are writing to the governor now to reaffirm their support for the program.
More evidence has come in about the health benefits of eating broccoli and related vegetables. A study led by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, shows that a compound in broccoli, cabbage and other vegetables appears to stimulate the immune system. The compound, known by its acronym DIM, had already been shown to have cancer-fighting properties. The new study is the first to suggest the immune system responds to it.
A relatively mild summer will affect the weight of turkeys available this Thanksgiving. Lighter-weight turkeys may be fewer. Farmers plan on a certain number of days to bring their turkeys to market weight. Because there have been so many cool evenings this summer, the turkeys felt more like eating and gained weight more quickly. There will be plenty of turkeys available, but they'll each be a little heavier when they reach market.
Food-safety research in California received a boost from the federal government. The U.S. Agriculture Department announced it would grant $5.5 million to a food-safety project in the Central Valley. Researchers from USDA and the University of California will study additional methods to keep fresh produce free of potentially harmful E.coli bacteria. The three-year study will supplement similar research underway in the Salinas Valley.Top