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» September 2, 2008 «
Final legislative approval has been given to a bill aimed at stopping metal theft. It's taken two years of debate for approval. Metal theft is a troublesome crime in rural areas as thieves disable farm equipment and sell scrap metal for quick cash. Support for the legislation comes not only from farmers but also utility companies, local governments and a broad section of businesses that have been victims. The bill, AB 844 by Assemblymember Tom Berryhill, was approved by a unanimous Assembly vote.
California gross farm sales for 2007 were led by a 63 percent increase in dairy prices. However, that followed a very poor year for dairy producers in 2006. Most farmers were able to retire debt incurred in 2006. But a number of dairy farmers sold out early this year. Production costs for all California farmers rose in 2007 and 2008, making the increase in gross receipts especially welcome.
Processing tomato production is expected to be about 3 percent less than last year. A government report predicts about 11.6 million tons will be produced, and that is 1 percent less than was forecast in May. Harvest is about a week later than average. Frosty weather in April caused spot damage to some plants. Acreage was reduced because of water shortages in some areas, and yields may be lighter as farmers try to stretch what water they have to produce a crop. Processing tomatoes are used for a variety of canned products, from salsa to ketchup.
It's like pear perfume, with a punch. And it's bad news for codling moths. Scientists have discovered a natural chemical in pears that attracts both male and female moths to traps, where they die. Codling moth is widespread in residential fruit trees, and the scientists are working with residents of McArthur in Shasta County to get rid of the pest. By eliminating residential infestations, commercial growers benefit as well.Top