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» April 14, 2005 «
The Bush administration has dropped an effort to cut government payments to farmers. Rice and cotton farmers in California and the South would have most keenly felt the reductions. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told key senators that budget reduction must be done, but he is willing to look elsewhere in agriculture programs for cuts. The administration says it still supports the payment limit plan, but will work with Congress to achieve budget reduction.
California beef producers will benefit from the Taiwanese government decision to resume accepting American beef. Two California processing plants have shipped beef to that island nation in the past. In 2003 $76 million worth of American beef was purchased by Taiwan, last year none due to their mad cow fears. Taiwanese consumers like cuts of beef not popular with American consumers, which helps ranchers achieve stronger prices.
U.S. and Brazilian agricultural research scientists have found that no-till farming can play a positive role in mitigating greenhouse gases. It captures carbon that's stored in the soil in plant tissues and remains in the field after harvesting. They conducted a 10-year study with two fields, one cultivated by plowing, the other no-till. The no-till plot produced far less greenhouse gases.
The California Avocado Commission estimates shipments for the Cinco de Mayo holiday will be almost 38 million pounds. That makes it second to the Super Bowl when 43 million pounds were sold. The estimates include both California and Mexican grown fruit. A promotion fund to which all avocado growers who sell in the U.S. contribute is permitting promotions, such as a celebrity chef demonstrating avocado use on the Today show, to increase consumption.Top