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» May 18, 2005 «
High water along the upper Sacramento River has state officials concerned about potential farmland flooding. A forecast of possibly heavy rain intensifies the worries. Levee repair work in Tehama County has been halted by the weather, and authorities say some farm fields near the upper Sacramento River could be inundated. Elsewhere, water levels on the Merced and Tuolumne rivers have receded, as cooler weather slows snowmelt.
Using the Internet, California pesticide regulators have created the nation's first database to identify endangered-species habitat. With an online search engine, pesticide applicators and others can obtain custom data about what species may exist in a given area. They can also learn what materials can be used safely with those species in residence. The Web site replaces more than 2,500 pages of written material.
More than 10,000 acres of citrus groves will be treated this spring, as part of a program to control an insect pest. Crews have started treating citrus trees in Kern, Tulare, Riverside and Ventura counties, to slow the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Inspectors say the numbers of insects are low so far, but that cooler-than-average temperatures may be retarding insect growth. The glassy-winged sharpshooter spreads plant diseases in grapes and other crops.
Supporters of country-of-origin food labeling say they're concerned about a move in the U.S. House of Representatives, to delay the labels on meat products. Lawmakers voted this week to withhold money from the Agriculture Department to begin work to start the labeling by September 2006. A California Farm Bureau spokesman says the country-of-origin labels would enable consumers to make educated choices about where their meat originates.Top