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» June 8, 2006 «
After weeks of low supplies caused by springtime planting delays, Salinas Valley lettuce growers say they've caught up. Farmers report that harvest volumes are good, and crop quality is also. Earlier fears of frequent supply gaps have abated, because farmers managed to plant various varieties of lettuce that will mature at different times. As lettuce supplies have improved, wholesale prices have declined.
Reduced timber sales from California's national forests hit rural schools, because the federal government paid royalties on the timber that were directed to school budgets. When timber sales dropped in the 1990s, Congress approved direct funding to keep the schools operating. That law expires this fall, and a coalition wants Congress to extend the school support for another six years. A bill is working its way through Congress, which the coalition hopes will be approved by September.
To prevent a pest from traveling to new locations in California, nursery owners have taken a number of steps to fight the "glassy-winged sharpshooter." University of California researchers have started a new study of ways to prevent the insect from laying eggs on ornamental plants. Tests will be conducted at Southern California nurseries and at UC Riverside. The sharpshooter carries a plant disease that kills grapevines and other crops.
Florida farmers have been told not to ship their citrus fruit to California or 11 other citrus-producing states. Federal authorities imposed the ban in order to halt the spread of a plant disease called citrus canker. Hurricanes spread the disease through much of Florida. Although 90 percent of Florida's citrus is used to produce juice, the ban will keep fresh Florida grapefruit out of California and the other states.Top