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» January 20, 2006 «
The vigor of California's bee population has a lot to do with the state's crop production ... and an expert says beekeepers have healthier hives this year. A University of California specialist says beekeepers have aggressively fought mites that have plagued beehives. As a result, he says, bee losses have not been as severe. The health of the bee population concerns farmers, who depend on the insects to pollinate almonds and many other crops.
Responsible environmental stewardship by California farmers will benefit air quality, according to the state secretary of food and agriculture. Secretary A.G. Kawamura spoke yesterday (Thursday) in Bakersfield. Kawamura said farmers have worked to meet new, federal air-quality standards. He also noted the potential for using agricultural products to create clean, renewable fuels such as ethanol, biodiesel and dairy methane.
Another nation has reopened its market to American beef. Singapore said yesterday it will resume imports of certain U.S. beef products. Singapore was among nations that suspended purchases of American beef, following discovery of a case of the cattle disease BSE in late 2003. In recent weeks, several countries have resumed imports of U.S. beef, including Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Extensive crop losses in Florida result in heavy demand for California-grown grapefruit. Hurricanes have reduced the Florida grapefruit crop for two consecutive years. Crop estimators predict that California grapefruit production will increase 3 percent this season. California ranks behind Florida and Texas in overall grapefruit production. Most California-grown grapefruit comes from Riverside County.Top