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» May 3, 2006 «
Demand for California cheese continues to rise, and the state's annual cheese production has surpassed 2 billion pounds for the first time. A government report says California cheese plants produced a record 2.1 billion pounds of cheese last year, up 7 percent from the previous year. A leader of a large cheese manufacturer credits the continued growth to the quality and convenience of California cheese, and to successful consumer promotional campaigns.
Improved weather has improved supplies of California-grown asparagus. Farmers say harvest volumes have increased during the past couple of weeks. Marketers say there will be plenty of asparagus for Mother's Day and that they expect production to continue through Memorial Day. California farmers face competition from asparagus grown in Washington, though farmers in the Northwest have seen their shipments curtailed at times by inclement weather.
A made-for-television movie about bird flu will now be preceded by a disclaimer. The California Poultry Federation says ABC television will air the disclaimer, informing viewers that the movie is a work of fiction and directing viewers to facts about avian influenza. The Poultry Federation says it's pleased. It had urged ABC stations to air the disclaimer, out of concern that next week's broadcast would give people false impressions about bird flu.
In the first study of its kind, university researchers found that planting biotech cotton does not affect the biodiversity of cotton fields. Scientists at the University of Arizona tracked fields where farmers had planted cotton developed through biotechnology to resist a pest called pink bollworm. The biotech variety contains a natural insecticide known as Bt. The study found that the biotech cotton did not affect insect biodiversity.Top