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» July 21, 2006 «
Farmers are changing working hours and taking other steps to help workers cope with the intense heat. Work crews start early and quit at midday. Farm Bureau has distributed thousands of Spanish language booklets that help them to stay safe. Workers are advised to drink plenty of water and seek shade when needed
Cattle ranchers change nurturing practices in hot weather to help their animals cope with the heat. Cattle become nocturnal in hot weather so ranchers provide supplemental feed in the evening. Most ranches have trees that provide shade, and ranchers make certain their cattle have adequate water. To minimize heat stress, ranchers provide high-energy supplements as the cattle eat less food in hot weather and supplements satisfy their nutritional needs.
California's farm product numbers continue to increase each year, as farmers plant new varieties of flowers, fruits, nuts, grains and other products as part of their businesses. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says there are 405 different farm products being grown in California. The department says additional crops have been added since. Alphabetically they range from alfalfa hay to zucchini squash.
Researchers have developed a new pest-resistant dessert gooseberry called the Jeanne variety. It's a late ripening fruit that produces sweet dark berries. Other gooseberry varieties are susceptible to fungal diseases. The U.S. Agricultural Research Service says the new plants have been provided to several nurseries. They'll be available for homeowners and commercial farmers. California farmers produce a small amount of gooseberries, but they are listed under "other berries" in the annual production reports.Top