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» June 12, 2006 «
Speaking to family farmers and farm leaders at the California Farm Bureau (Friday), U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the Bush administration remains firmly committed to comprehensive immigration reform. Johanns said the administration will press a congressional conference committee for quick resolution of the issue. California farm groups support a Senate bill, passed last month, which combines improved border enforcement with reforms to temporary-worker programs.
Confirming what had already been suspected, crop forecasts show how sharply winter and spring weather reduced two California fruit crops. Estimates from government crop forecasters (Friday) said cherry farmers will harvest a crop 15 percent smaller than last year's ... and apricot farmers will see their harvest cut by more than half. Causes include a lack of chilling weather during the winter, followed by rain and unseasonably cold weather when trees were blooming.
A fourth quarantine zone will soon be enacted, as state agricultural officials work to stop the spread of a destructive pest. The diaprepes root weevil threatens some 270 different types of ornamental plants and fruit trees. An infestation in Encinitas marks its latest appearance in Southern California. Thus far, eight weevils have been found on seven properties in a residential area
Want to be a millionaire? All you need to do is figure out how to cultivate certain varieties of specialty mushrooms. The problem is that no one knows how to do that. Mushroom varieties such as porcini, chanterelles and morels grow only on living organisms in the wild. In the meantime, University of California farm advisors are teaching small-scale farmers how to cultivate other types of specialty mushrooms that have proven popular with consumers.Top