Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityWashington visit of California Farm Bureau leaders
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» April 23, 2007 «
Prospects for immigration reform will be a key issue as California Farm Bureau leaders visit Washington, DC, beginning today (Monday). A group of two-dozen family farmers and ranchers will spend several days meeting with members of Congress and the Bush administration. Farmers have pressed for immigration reform that includes a temporary-worker program for farms. The Farm Bureau delegation will also urge Congress to enhance border inspections for agricultural pests and diseases.
The dry spring has helped California rice farmers prepare for planting. That's a sharp contrast to last year, when rainy weather bedeviled farmers for much of the spring. Planting has begun in the Fresno area and elsewhere. The California Rice Commission says growers who aren't yet planting have been applying water to their fields in preparation. Farmers prefer to have all their rice planted by the end of May so harvest can begin on time in the fall.
Farmers will plant fewer "storage" onions in California. Storage onions are sold mainly to food processors, though analysts say high prices for fresh onions may draw some of the crop into the fresh market. The state's acreage is projected to decline about 3 percent, according to a government report. The report says farmers aren't sure they'll be able to hire enough people to harvest and pack onions, and says that's one reason for the acreage decrease.
Water from storage allows a federal water project to assure full deliveries to Klamath Basin farmers. The Klamath Project says it's been a below-normal year for rain and snow in the basin. But it says deliveries from two reservoirs will allow it to provide full water supplies to farmers along the California-Oregon border. The project says it can also use water acquired through a regional water-banking program.Top