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» February 11, 2008 «
A single light brown apple moth has been found in a trap in Carpentaria in Santa Barbara County. It's the first find of this invasive pest in that county. Increased trapping has begun in the immediate area of the find to see if additional moths are present. Traps have been set statewide to detect any infestation early. Eradication programs are already in operation in several counties where the pest has been found. It was first detected in California a year ago and threatens more than 2,000 plant species including redwood, cypress and oak trees.
Stolen beehives are being reported by several California beekeepers. One beekeeper reported a loss of 180 hives valued at $36,000 in addition to the income loss from not being able to provide pollination services. Law enforcement personnel suspect individuals familiar with bees because common thieves wouldn't know how to handle bees safely. Pollination fees are higher than in past years and the stolen hives could provide the thief a good income.
Dairy farmers will earn 24 cents a gallon less for their milk beginning March 1. The California Department of Food and Agriculture set the price at $1.62. That follows a 12-cent drop Feb. 1. Prices of cheese, powdered milk and whey all declined this month and butter just remained steady. Those commodities are used in the complex formula the state uses to set farm milk prices. Farmers will be earning 40 cents a gallon less for their milk than they were in December.
Winegrape production was three percent higher last year than in 2006, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Prices farmers earned for the grapes averaged lower than in 2006. Chardonnay accounted for the largest portion of winegrape production at more than 16 percent. Pinot Noir production declined about 16 percent from 2006 due to unfavorable weather even though planted acreage has increased. Demand for that varietal remains very strong.Top