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» March 27, 2006 «
The push for comprehensive immigration reform restarts today (Monday), when the U.S. Senate resumes discussions following a weeklong break. The Judiciary Committee will try to finish its work on a bill, and the Senate majority leader has vowed to move his own bill this week if the committee doesn't act quickly enough. Family farmers and other groups have been pressing for a bill that includes a flexible guestworker program, which allows immigrant workers to enter the country legally.
Crediting what it calls a "huge increase" in the Sierra snowpack, the State Water Project has increased supplies to its customers. The project now says it can deliver 80 percent of the water requested by water districts. The state Department of Water Resources says the volume of the Feather River Basin snowpack nearly doubled in the last three weeks. The State Water Project serves farms in the San Joaquin Valley and urban customers in Southern California.
Saying it has learned from recent outbreaks of a poultry disease, the U.S. Agriculture Department says it wants to change the way it responds to exotic Newcastle disease. In a notice to be published today, the USDA proposes new quarantine restrictions to prevent spread of the disease. Exotic Newcastle disease is different from avian flu, but is highly contagious among birds. An outbreak in Southern California killed more than 3 million chickens in 2003.
An enhanced form of safflower oil promises health benefits for consumers and new markets for safflower growers. An agricultural biotechnology firm in Davis has finalized an agreement with a Northern California seed cooperative, to develop the new safflower variety. It contains added levels of an omega-6 fatty acid. The acid, known as GLA, naturally battles inflammation and can benefit the heart, joints, skin and neurological system.Top