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» July 6, 2005 «
California has recorded the year's first death of a horse infected with West Nile virus. State officials say a horse in Tulare County had to be euthanized after contracting the virus. The state Department of Food and Agriculture said the animal had not been vaccinated, and urged horse owners to have animals vaccinated as soon as possible. West Nile virus killed 228 California horses last year.
A world trade body says the United States needs to change its cotton program, and the federal government has taken two steps in recent days to do so. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Tuesday) it will ask Congress to end a program that provided incentives for marketers to buy U.S. cotton. It earlier announced changes to a cotton-export program. Analysts say the changes could eventually have an indirect bearing on prices earned by California cotton farmers.
A supermarket chain has been cited for allegedly advertising Mexican grapes as being California-grown. The state Department of Food and Agriculture said 48 "Food 4 Less" stores received citations for the reported advertising violations. The company says it was a printing error and posted signs in stores explaining the mistake. A Riverside County grape grower reportedly brought the matter to the attention of the local agricultural commissioner.
Strawberry growers continue their record pace of production. The most recent figures show California farmers have marketed about 850 million pounds of fruit so far. That's 80 million pounds ahead of last year's pace. Production usually peaks around now, but with more acreage in production the California Strawberry Commission expects another record-setting year. Last year California farmers produced 1.6 billion pounds of strawberries.
On the Calendar:
The Santa Barbara National Horse Show opens today (Wednesday) in Santa Barbara.