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» September 21, 2006 «
Right now, their focus is on cooperating with health officials investigating illnesses linked to consumption of fresh spinach. But farmers also know they will need to reassure consumers about food safety once spinach sales resume. A University of California consumer expert says farm groups and farmers will aid that process, by moving quickly to address whatever caused the problem and explaining the steps they take to assure food safety.
As markets reopen to American beef, export figures are slowly recovering. A government report says forecasters have increased their estimates for beef exports in the next two years. Japan partially reopened beef purchases last month and exports to South Korea should start soon. Both countries had halted purchases after the discovery of the beef disease BSE in the U.S. American beef exports in July were nearly double their level of a year earlier.
Production of renewable fuels has expanded, but the U.S. Energy Department says it will take another 24 years before they make up one-third of the nation's motor fuel. At the University of California, researchers will check to see whether more renewable fuel can come from agricultural waste. UC Davis announced a $25 million grant from Chevron Corporation. Researchers will look for ways to transform rice straw, orchard prunings and other leftovers into biofuels.
Horseradish farmers along the California-Oregon border started their harvest this week. That's a little later than usual, but farmers say they expect an excellent crop with higher than average yields. About 600 acres of land provide the yearly supply of Tulelake horseradish for consumers. Horseradish is a perennial crop. Machine harvesters cut the roots above the main root, which will provide the horseradish that's harvested next season.Top