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» June 24, 2005 «
Farm groups expressed dismay at a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that grants government bodies greater authority to seize private land. A split court ruled yesterday (Thursday) that a Connecticut city could condemn land to be used for economic development by private businesses. The American Farm Bureau said it was "outraged" by the ruling. It said family farmers contending with urban sprawl need protection against government bodies having free reign to take land.
California farmers begin to see themselves frozen out of some markets, as China expands its strawberry production. A report from the California Strawberry Commission says China has replaced the U.S. as the main supplier of frozen strawberries to Japan. Most of China's fresh strawberry production is sold domestically for now. Rising urban incomes and changing tastes have made strawberries more popular in China.
If you noticed fewer cherries on the market this spring, there was good reason. Production dropped throughout the nation this year, and California saw the sharpest reduction among the main cherry-producing states. A government report issued yesterday estimates California cherry production fell 38 percent. The California Cherry Commission says it expects final numbers may show an even steeper decline. Poor weather during bloom caused a 20 percent cut in cherry production nationwide.
Premium wine packaged in designer boxes has a bright future, according to a wine industry analyst. Young consumers apparently respond to the style of the packaging and enjoy the taste of the wine. Studies show that box packaging preserves wine flavor. Observers say screw-cap wine bottles are also gaining in popularity. Younger consumers have also been accepting that change when buying premium wine.
On the Calendar:
Today (Friday) is Opening Day for the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton and the San Benito County Saddle Horse Show and Rodeo in Hollister.