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» March 16, 2005 «
Changes would result in the way the federal government designates habitat for protected species, under a bill reintroduced in Congress yesterday (Tuesday). Central Valley Congressman Dennis Cardoza says his bill would give government biologists more time to study the needs of species. It would also require them to consult with local officials and consider the economic effects of naming land as "critical habitat." The measure's supporters include a number of farm groups.
As officials work on a final plan to control a new avocado pest, it's not certain whether state authorities will declare a quarantine in southern San Diego County. Authorities want to make sure the "avocado lace bug" doesn't move into commercial avocado groves. County officials have asked for a quarantine, to prevent avocado trees and other plant material from leaving infested areas. The lace bug attacks avocado leaves, making the fruit vulnerable to sunburn.
A campaign portraying wine as an everyday, casual treat has brought encouraging results in an early test. The Wine Market Council says its campaign increased wine sales in Columbus, Ohio, where ads were tested last fall. The campaign features humorous print advertisements that use the tagline, "Wine: since 6,000 B.C." Based on the results of its test marketing, the council says it will explore plans for a nationwide campaign.
Hundreds of people sampled California-grown foods as dignitaries marked California Agriculture Day at the state Capitol yesterday. Visitors to the lunchtime festivities could choose among foods distributed from nearly three-dozen booths representing California commodities. High school students participated in a cook-off using California-grown ingredients. And speakers reminded visitors of California's status as the country's largest and most diverse farming state.
On the Calendar:
High-tech methods to help farmers manage their crops more accurately will be discussed at a University of California seminar on "geospatial technologies in agriculture," opening today (Wednesday) in Bakersfield.