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» May 3, 2007 «
A two-tiered federal quarantine has been issued for California counties infested with the light brown apple moth. Nurseries and farms located within a mile and a half of a spot where the moth has been found must have each shipment inspected and certified before it can move. Nurseries and farms located farther from moth sites must undergo a one-time, visual inspection. The moth threatens a wide variety of crops was first confirmed in the Bay Area six weeks ago.
California-grown apricots should be available at retail stores soon. Kern County growers have been picking fruit for about a week, and growers farther north plan to start harvest in a few days. Farmers say apricot trees benefited from adequate chill hours this winter and from excellent weather at bloom time. Now, farmers hope that hailstorms will stay away until the harvest ends. Observers say they expect a good-sized crop of high-quality apricots.
Cattle ranchers welcome rain that moved through Northeastern California this week. Grasses remain green in the eastern foothills and farther north. Ranchers say this will allow them to keep their cattle on the winter ranges near the valley floor. They usually move them to summer grazing at higher mountain elevations about the end of May and now will be able to wait until then to do so. Elsewhere in the state, ranchers have had to move their animals earlier than usual because pastures have dried out.
As the Internet becomes more fully integrated into every area of American life, lack of access to high-speed service becomes a more serious problem. Rural areas lag behind in availability of broadband Internet service. So the American Farm Bureau has announced support for a bill it says would address the problem. It asked Congress to adopt the bill, which would set up a $40 million matching-grant program to invest in improved broadband Internet service.Top