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» October 7, 2008 «
Rural schools in California near national forests will benefit from the federal economic rescue plan. A provision provides four-year funding of a program called "Payment in Lieu of Taxes." Local governments including schools were promised help by the federal government 100 years ago when the national forests were established and the land was removed from tax rolls. However, funding has dwindled with the decline in timber harvests. This money will replace some of the lost income.
Weekend rain in California did more good than harm to farm crops. Walnut growers say the rain helps nuts on the trees split so they are ready for harvest. Olive growers say rain helps fruit on their trees increase in size. Most almond farmers had completed harvest, and those with nuts not picked up had only minor damage. Winegrape growers are concerned about the chardonnay grapes still on the vines, but red grapes such as cabernet sauvignon should be OK. Most of the raisin crop had been picked up.
Consumers wanting better information about what to include in family diets may now check out the "Meals Matter" Web site of the California Dairy Council. The council has joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Partnering With MyPyramid" program, which provides families tools needed to develop healthy lifestyles. Council dietitians have developed meal planners, recipes and fitness trackers. Food choices include low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and nuts.
The genome sequence discovery of a research team could eventually help farmers produce more food and provide more environmentally friendly tools to use against the northern root-knot nematode. That worm causes $50 billion in plant damage annually. The pest damages crops such as alfalfa, potatoes, grapes or others every year. The new information may help scientists develop better control materials for use against the worm. A UC Davis researcher was part of the team.Top