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» March 3, 2005 «
Plans to resume imports of Canadian cattle into the United States have been put on hold. A federal judge in Montana delayed Monday's scheduled reopening of the market, by issuing a temporary injunction yesterday (Wednesday). U.S. cattle ranchers have expressed concerns about the reopening, and its timing. Canadian cattle have been kept out of the country since the cattle disease BSE was found in Canada in 2003.
A ruling that gave a partial victory to livestock producers could bring problems in other regards, according to the American Farm Bureau. The Farm Bureau says the court agreed that ranchers should not be required to seek water-quality permits unless their operations might discharge water into streams. But the farm group says other parts of the court ruling threaten to throw the permit process "into disarray." A federal appeals court in New York issued the ruling this week.
University experts say American consumers remain receptive to the benefits of biotech crops, and stressed the thorough testing that crops undergo before they can be grown commercially. Two University of California biotechnology specialists addressed a California Farm Bureau conference in Sacramento yesterday. They said acreage of biotech crops has been increasing worldwide, and has helped farmers produce healthy foods while reducing soil erosion and using less pesticide.
Improved field conditions along the Central Coast have quickened the artichoke harvest. Farmers in the Castroville area describe their plants as heavy with large-sized artichokes. Marketers say the crop has been developing about a month earlier than usual, and that consumers should notice increased supplies in retail stores by the end of the week. California farms produce the nation's entire supply of domestically grown artichokes.Top