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» September 19, 2005 «
Leaders of a county Farm Bureau say they're astonished by the response to a hurricane-relief fund they established two weeks ago. The Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau says its "Operation Southern Comfort" fund already contains $20,000, and that other county Farm Bureaus around California have joined the fund-raising effort. The drive will provide relief directly to family farmers in the Gulf States who lost property or crops to Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane damage to sugar cane in the Gulf States affects California sugar beet farmers. A growers' organization says sugar prices have risen because of the crop losses caused by Hurricane Katrina. The prices California farmers earn for sugar beets are based on average annual sugar prices. Observers say the recent price increases will offset lower prices that occurred earlier this year.
For a third straight week, the number of new West Nile virus cases among California horses has declined. The state Department of Food and Agriculture reported 23 new cases among horses the past week. Twelve horses died, meaning that the disease has killed 161 California horses this year. The counties with the highest number of equine West Nile virus cases are Stanislaus, Riverside and Sacramento.
So far, it's a case of "no news is good news" for pest fighters monitoring an infestation of Asian longhorn beetles. No additional beetles have been trapped in the two months since state authorities announced discovering the beetles near a Sacramento warehouse. The beetles apparently hitchhiked into California on infested packing material from China. The Asian longhorn beetle attacks and kills deciduous landscape and fruit trees.Top