Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityTour of the Customs and Border Protection agency facilities at SFO
mp3 | Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» February 13, 2008 «
Invading pests and diseases can cause severe damage to the California environment and to its farms and ranches. At San Francisco International Airport yesterday (Tuesday), federal agents showed members of the farming community what they're doing to keep pests and diseases out. The farm representatives toured Customs and Border Protection facilities where agents inspect luggage at the airport. Farm groups call rigorous inspections a key way to protect the environment and the economy.
Dry weather the past week has created favorable conditions for planting tomatoes. The California Tomato Growers Association says farmers in both the northern and southern parts of the Central Valley are planting tomato seed now. Seeds can withstand cold temperatures and won't germinate until the soil collects enough heat. Next month, farmers who transplant small tomato plants will start that procedure. The tomatoes being planted now will be used to make ketchup, salsa and other products.
Sobering realities force cattle ranchers to reduce their herds, according to American Farm Bureau specialists. A Farm Bureau analysis of government reports indicates that the nation's beef-cattle herd will likely shrink again this year. Drought, especially in the Southeast, has forced ranchers to sell cattle earlier than they'd like. The Farm Bureau says high feed costs and rising costs for other supplies also encourage cattle ranchers to reduce their herds.
A commitment to stewardship led to national recognition for a Northern California ranching family. The Hank Stone family of Winters won this year's Environmental Stewardship Award, presented by the National Cattlemen's Foundation. The Stone family owns the Yolo Land & Cattle Company. The family has collaborated with multiple groups and agencies, for conservation projects including restoration of grasslands and stock ponds with native plants.Top