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» September 6, 2006 «
It's a growing concern among Southern California farmers and the subject of a series of public meetings this week. The diaprepes root weevil can damage or destroy more than 270 different plants. The weevil has been found in three counties, and officials are still trying to determine how widespread it may be. Farmers want the state to eradicate the weevil. Treatments against the insect will begin next week.
For the first time, state dairy analysts have tabulated production of organic milk in California. A regular state report on milk production began listing organic output this spring. Since April, when the reporting began, California dairies have produced an average of nearly 2 million gallons of organic milk each month. Farmers who opt to become organic milk producers must follow production standards for three years before they can market milk and milk products as organic.
European interest in rosé wine bodes well for California wine exporters. For example, sales of California rosé in the United Kingdom doubled last year. Rosé from California has also become increasingly popular on the European continent. Speakers at a wine export seminar said European consumers particularly appreciate dry rosé wine, with the variety of the grapes identified on the label.
While farmers in Northern California work to finish their harvests, farmers in Southern California work to plant their upcoming crops. In the Imperial Valley, at least one farmer reports trouble in hiring enough tractor drivers to plant vegetables. Usually, workers commute across the border from Mexicali. But new rules make crossing the border more difficult. Farmers say many potential workers have given up trying to enter the U.S.Top