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» February 24, 2006 «
Winegrape growers with small acreages are being encouraged to form marketing groups that would provide a competitive advantage. Leaders of the winegrape sector made the suggestion at a meeting of a California Farm Bureau grape advisory committee. Retail consolidation has reduced potential buyers, as has consolidation of wineries. By forming marketing groups farmers would be able to provide larger amounts of grapes to buyers while continuing to operate individually. Consumers would benefit from continued competitively priced wine selections.
California kiwifruit growers produced a crop at least 50 percent larger than last year. As a result excellent quality California grown kiwifruit will be available later in spring than has been the case for the last couple years. The California Kiwifruit Commission is offering retailers extra promotional funding for such ideas as green kiwifruit for St. Patrick's Day, or including kiwifruit in Cinco de Mayo promotions.
California farmers will operate under the most stringent pesticide-notification rules in the country, under a proposal announced by a state agency yesterday (Thursday). The state Department of Pesticide Regulation says it will require additional notification by farmers and companies that apply crop-protection materials. The department says the rules will provide workers with additional information. It will seek public comment on the proposal later this year.
Researchers have developed a software program that provides rangeland managers better information on rangeland conditions. The programs acquire data by slow-flying airplanes equipped with digital still cameras and Global Positioning System computers. The images are used to identify risk of soil erosion by comparing levels of ground cover. Researchers say the data is more accurate than data collected on the ground and more economical to obtain.Top