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» February 2, 2006 «
Work to produce ethanol from rice straw and other crop leftovers received a boost from President Bush during his State of the Union address this week. The president pledged that the government will pay for more studies of making ethanol from sources other than corn. A spokesman for the California Rice Commission says continued research is needed to make producing ethanol from rice straw more efficient and, therefore, more competitive.
A key foreign market for California beef will accept additional cuts from the United States. Mexico says it will resume trade in "bone-in" beef from animals younger than 30 months old. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said yesterday (Wednesday) the action is "a testament to the safety of U.S. beef." Mexico has already been buying boneless beef from the U.S. It was the number-two foreign market for California beef in the most recent recording year.
February's Sierra snow survey by the state Department of Water Resources shows an average year so far. Surveyors say more snow was falling as they took their measurements yesterday. Totals collected by electronic sensors in other parts of the Sierra put the snowpack about 20 percent above average. The surveys help water planners gauge potential supplies for the spring and summer, though experts caution that conditions may change dramatically before spring arrives.
Marketers of snack nuts look to Super Bowl week as a key sales period. Diamond Walnut will again advertise its Emerald Nuts products during the Super Bowl broadcast on Sunday. The California Pistachio Commission calls Super Bowl Sunday the biggest sales day of the year. The commission plans an ad in Parade Magazine, promoting pistachios as heart healthy. The ad encourages readers to order a free brochure with recipes using pistachios.
On the Calendar:
To thank consumers for their support of local family farms, young farmers from Marin and Sonoma counties give away reusable grocery bags during a Food Check-Out Week event today (Thursday) in Petaluma.