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» May 23, 2008 «
The strong winds that raked much of California this week cause concern in the state's fields and orchards. But farmers say it will take several days to determine whether much damage has occurred. Almond trees are heavily laden with nuts right now, and the winds have broken branches and caused some trees to fall down. The wind may also affect ripe cherries, ripening apricots and fields of tomatoes.
A week ago, many parts of the state were coping with 100-degree heat. But, with the exception of that heat spell, high temperatures have stayed in the 70s in most California cotton-farming regions. As a result, farmers say their crops appear to be developing more slowly than usual. Farmers say the cotton plants will catch up when the weather warms to seasonal averages, which is predicted to happen in another few days.
When Congress returns from its Memorial Day recess, it will resolve a clerical error that leaves part of the new farm bill in limbo. That section of the bill pertains to international food aid and trade, and was mistakenly left out of the version sent to President Bush last week. A Senate vote yesterday (Thursday) completed congressional override of the president's farm-bill veto, but Congress may need to act separately on the trade section.
Corks, synthetic corks or screw caps now close most bottles of wine, but a team of University of California students has come up with a new idea. Students at U-C Davis developed what they call a "breathing screw cap." It features small vent holes and a liner that allows bottled wine to breathe. The concept won a business-plan competition at the campus, and the students will now take their plan to a regional competition to be held next week.Top