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» February 19, 2009 «
Cattle ranchers say the recent rain came just in time to save the forage growing on their ranches. However, they still need to feed hay to the animals until the grasses develop further. Stock ponds and streams now have water for the cattle to drink. Ranchers say additional precipitation every few days with warm, sunny weather in between would be ideal for forage development. Ranchers are hoping for a wet spring. California ranchers generate more than $1.6 billion yearly for the state's economy.
A new study suggests that compounds found in blueberries may inhibit the growth of blood vessel tumors in infants and children. The Ohio State University study found that feeding a blueberry extract to mice with tumors safely shrank the tumors. Scientists hope that feeding blueberry juice to children with blood vessel tumors will yield similar results. Their research continues. California currently ranks 7th in U.S. blueberry production; however, acreage is expanding.
The snowpack in the upper Colorado River basin is about 108 percent of average. The region is expected to have more snow over the next several days. As of now, the Bureau of Reclamation expects about average runoff from the area. There has been above-average precipitation in the lower Colorado River basin, but the average there is so low it has not produced much runoff. Southern California receives much of its water from the Colorado River. Imperial Valley farmers can expect their usual water allocations.
A newly developed device may help egg producers detect microcracks in eggs, which should prevent consumers from finding cracked eggs in their purchases. The prototype uses a pressure chamber and camera to locate the cracks, with 99.4 percent accuracy. Cracks are a safety concern as they potentially create a pathway for pathogens. This new development is being hailed as a huge step forward in food safety. The process is the product of U.S. Department of Agriculture research scientists.Top