Food & Farm News
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» October 2, 2006 «
The Food and Drug Administration has declared all spinach safe to eat. An FDA spokesman said all spinach is as safe as it was before this event. Meantime, growers and processors are enhancing their efforts to maintain a safe food supply. Processors will begin randomly testing samples from every batch of greens packaged, adopting a similar procedure that is used by the meat and poultry sector.
Fuel prices in California continue to decline, according to the California Energy Commission. Diesel prices dropped nine cents this past week, averaging $2.91 a gallon. That's less than the average price of $3.03 a gallon a year ago at this time. Farmers are large consumers of diesel at this time of year as their harvesters move through fields of various commodities. Gasoline prices also declined to an average of $2.76 a gallon compared to $2.95 a year ago.
The federal government is forecasting a 170,000 ton dried plum crop this year. That's an 89 percent increase from last year's 90,000 ton crop. While the harvest is over, numbers aren't added to the total until the fruit is sold. But, those in the dried plum sector say the forecast is accurate. The crop had rainy weather during bloom last spring and several growers reported fruit loss. But despite weather challenges the crop rebounded significantly from expectations earlier this year.
Even though it is late in the season, two additional counties reported their first cases of equine West Nile virus last week. Statewide there were five new cases of the disease that is spread by mosquitoes. The statewide total is 49 horses of which 22 died. That is lower than the 456 cases last year. State veterinarians urged horse owners to vaccinate their animals.Top