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» November 27, 2006 «
Avocados, citrus fruit, flowers and other San Diego County crops have been receiving extra irrigation, to see them through a planned water shutoff that starts today (Monday). Expansion work at a treatment plant requires the stoppage, which affects businesses and homes. Farmers hope for mild weather to help sustain their crops during the water shutoff. Unexpectedly warm weather caused problems for San Diego County farmers during a previous water shutoff in February.
As they work to refine their food-safety practices, California farmers say they're striving for techniques that make their products the safest in the world. At a food safety seminar in Fresno (last week), farmers, regulators and food-safety specialists talked about strategies for insuring a safe food supply. Farmers described water tests, crop tests and other procedures. They say sharing information will help them create the most effective solutions.
A smaller crop of California cling peaches means stores of canned peaches will be drawn down. Farmers have been removing peach orchards to bring supplies of canned peaches in line with demand. The California Canning Peach Association estimates another 800 acres will be removed this fall. Farmers saw prices for canning peaches rise about 15 percent this year, though weather problems forced production down by more than 25 percent.
What if Americans ate the way dietary guidelines encourage them to eat? They'd have to eat more than twice as much fruit and about one third more vegetables as they do now ... and increase dairy consumption by two thirds. If those things happened, a government study says American farmers would have to add more than 7 million acres of additional farmland. More likely, it says, the U.S. would import more fruit and vegetables to meet the demand.Top