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» June 20, 2006 «
Farm groups say they're encouraged by parts of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on wetlands regulation. In a case involving interpretation of the federal Clean Water Act, the court reversed rulings against two landowners yesterday (Monday) and returned the case to lower courts. The American Farm Bureau says the ruling supports its position that fields and pastures used for many years by farmers and ranchers should not be regulated the same as rivers and streams.
The explosion of wireless technology has reached the farm, and researchers will discuss a variety of uses at a University of California symposium that starts today (Tuesday). Wireless technology can help farmers monitor their soil, schedule irrigation, tend their livestock and watch the weather. The two-day meeting at UC Davis aims to update farm advisors on the use of wireless technology and how to apply it on the farm.
Grocery shoppers may be doing the Tango in a few years, as a new, seedless mandarin orange reaches market. Citrus-fruit breeders at the University of California, Riverside, developed the new variety, which they named the Tango. The lead researcher says he noticed the increasing popularity of the easy-to-peel mandarins, and worked to develop a seedless variety for California farmers. The project took 11 years, which is faster than usual for breeding a new citrus variety.
Composting in Marin County, land restoration in Northeastern California and installation of soil-moisture sensors in El Dorado County are among projects that will benefit from federal grants announced yesterday. The U.S. Agriculture Department awarded Conservation Innovation Grants to more than five-dozen projects around the country. Another California project will help walnut farmers improve water quality while fighting an orchard pest.Top