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» January 11, 2005 «
Southern California farmers are assessing damage caused by heavy rain this past weekend. Ventura County appears hardest hit with reports of water standing in fields of vegetables and strawberries. Many roads are closed due to mudslides or flooding this makes travel to the fields to assess damage difficult. Fields that were ready for planting now must be re-worked as the rain packed the soil. This adds thousands of dollars to farmers costs.
Japan's refusal to accept American beef frustrates U.S. officials. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman says Japan stonewalled during negotiations. Japan stopped importing U.S. beef a year ago, after a single case of the cattle disease BSE. Speaking to reporters at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting, Veneman said Japan's continued ban ignores scientific evidence.
The price farmers receive for milk will drop to $1.31 a gallon February 1, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, following $0.20 increase January 1. Sharply lower prices for cheese and butter drives the price lower under the complex formula used to establish milk prices. The current price is higher than it was last year at this time. The department does not set retail prices.
New dietary guidelines to be released in coming days reportedly will recommend that Americans consume fewer carbohydrates and less fat. Government agencies will issue new "recommended daily allowances" for dietary components. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman told attendees at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting that the new guidelines are part of the government's program to attack what she called an "epidemic of obesity."Top