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» March 20, 2006 «
Backers of comprehensive immigration reform hope to build momentum in advance of a key vote scheduled for a week from today (Monday). The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on an immigration bill that includes a new guestworker plan. California farmers call a flexible guestworker program key to comprehensive immigration reform. They say such a program helps to assure a stable supply of homegrown food, which benefits national security.
As one harvest ends, date growers prepare for the next harvest in the California growing region around Indio. Date palms produced about 2 million pounds more fruit than farmers expected, with a crop totaling 21 million pounds. Now, the trees are starting to bloom with next fall's crop. Workers will be covering the blooms with paper, to keep the wind from blowing the pollen away. Next month, the workers start hand-pollinating the trees.
Eggs were less expensive last year, and prices will stay relatively stable during 2006, according to a government projection. The U.S. Agriculture Department says retail egg prices dropped 9 percent last year ... and wholesale prices dropped even more sharply. As prices fell, egg ranchers reduced production. The government report says that may push retail prices slightly upwards this year, to an average of around $1.25 a dozen.
An e-mail hoax has attracted the attention of state agriculture officials. The e-mail hoax warns consumers to avoid buying mulch from home improvement stores, because it may contain wood from Louisiana that's infested with Formosan termites. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says Louisiana has quarantined areas where the termites exist, and that California inspects incoming shipments of mulch to make certain they're pest-free.Top