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» April 20, 2005 «
The new federal food guidelines include 12 triangle shaped guides geared to differing lifestyles and nutritional needs. It also includes a suggestion for adults to exercise at least 30 minutes daily. Serving information is now noted in household measures such as ounces and cups. The new pyramid contains 23 general recommendations and 18 suggestions for older people, children and other special populations.
U.S. Agriculture Department surveys show California cotton farmers have planted about 30 percent of this year's crop. That's up from 10 percent last week and compares to 81 percent a year ago. The cool wet spring weather is the cause of planting delays. California rice growers haven't planted any of this season's crop, compared to 3 percent last year at this time. The four-year average for rice is 3 percent planted by this date.
The Mexican government agreed to allow produce from Imperial County to cross its borders last fall. They had banned produce because of the existence of the pink hibiscus mealybug in a small urban area of the county. But the border opening came too late in the season for any produce the Mexicans need. This week sweet corn became the first export sent to Mexico since the Imperial County ban was lifted as Imperial farmers are harvesting the first of this season's crop and several truckloads have been shipped to Mexico.
Agricultural researchers have developed a simple test to determine whether varroa mites are fully resistant to certain pesticides. The mites are troubling beekeepers as they infect hives and reduce honeybee effectiveness for pollination purposes. The discovery allows beekeepers to petition for different pesticides for use in containing the mites. State inspectors have already used the test to apply for emergency use exemptions on alternate control products.
On the Calendar:
The Santa Barbara Fair and Expo starts today (Wednesday) in Santa Barbara.