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Audio ActualityLack of students entering large animal veterinary medicine
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» April 25, 2006 «
Baby artichokes are now coming onto the market, after a later than average start. Farmers thought their season would be short in February when warm weather caused the plants to produce more flowers than usual. Then March turned cold and wet and the plants slowed production. They now are producing good volumes of large and medium size artichokes. Growers think the season will wind down about the middle of May.
Another sign of how the weather is impacting crop development is the winter wheat crop, which government inspectors say is only 50 percent headed. That's when the grain forms at the top of the stems. Last year at this time the crop was 74 percent headed and the average for this time of year is 70 percent. However, 90 percent of the crop is listed as in good or excellent condition.
The number of large animal veterinarians in California continues to decline even as the need for them increases. Most students in the UC Davis veterinary medicine school are majoring the treatment of small animals. As a result, most young doctors now entering the practice of large animal medicine are coming from out of state or from foreign schools. Many large animal medicine vets are nearing retirement age. Farmers are working to develop incentives to encourage more to enter the field.
An automated high tech system for estimating grape yields has been developed by. agricultural research scientists. The new procedure detects increases in the tension of trellis wires as grapes form and grow. This information provides the farmers with a more accurate reading of how large the yield will be. The system is now completing field-testing after which it can be place in commercial use.Top