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» July 2, 2008 «
The more they learn about a pest infestation just over the Mexican border, the more uneasy California citrus farmers become. The California Citrus Research Board says increased tapping in Tijuana has discovered a breeding population of the Asian citrus psyllid. One trap collected the insects just four blocks from the border. The pest has not yet been found in California. It is known to carry a disease that can kill citrus trees.
A series of water trades and transfers aims to ease shortages for Central Valley farms. The state Department of Water Resources said yesterday (Tuesday) it would lend water to the federal Central Valley Project, and allow groundwater to be pumped into State Water Project canals. That will help move groundwater from parts of the western San Joaquin Valley to others where it's not available. Dry weather and court rulings leave many farmers short of water this summer.
Assessing wildfire losses will take some time, but figures from three parts of the state indicate the scope of the damage. The Mendocino County agricultural commissioner lists damage to 37,000 acres of timber and rangeland, with more than 14,000 acres of redwood forests burned. Wildfire in Monterey County has burned more than 69,000 acres, mostly rangeland. In the Yuba River region, nearly 4,000 acres of mostly range and timberland have burned.
The value of California agricultural exports increased 6 percent, according to figures released yesterday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. California food and farm exports totaled more than $11.3 billion dollars during the most recent fiscal year. California-based farm exporters saw gains in nearly all categories, including tree nuts, fruits, vegetables and wine. California leads the nation in the value of agricultural exports.Top