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Audio ActualityLegal proceedings regarding delta water pump operations
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» June 4, 2007 «
Poor weather at bloom time has reduced the California prune plum by 47 percent, according to a government report. Warm temperatures caused the shortest bloom in recent years. Trees stressed from last year's heavy production also reduced output. Farmers harvested 180,000 tons in 2006. But, this is the third year of the last four where production has been well below average. Growers expect to harvest about 95,000 tons.
August 21 is the date for a hearing before a federal judge, regarding operation of the delta water pumps for the next year. Those pumps send water to San Joaquin Valley and Southern California homes, farms and ranches. In Friday proceedings, court schedules were established for the next weeks. Meantime, all but one of the pumps remain idle by administrative action after protected delta smelt were observed being sucked into them. If pumping is resumed this week as planned, water shortages south of the delta will be minimal.
Artichokes may be available at reasonable prices all summer, even though the heavy spring flush is winding down. Farmers have planted annual varieties in an effort to even the peaks and valleys production cycle. The annual varieties are now coming into production and if the weather continues as it has throughout the spring retail stores should have ample supplies at good prices all summer. The perennial plants are now being cut back so they will produce in larger numbers again this fall when the annuals stop producing artichokes.
Scientists say they have developed a new vaccine to protect cattle, swine, sheep goats and deer from foot and mouth disease. It can be produced in the United States and does not require expensive high containment production facilities. The disease does not affect humans, but is a threat to livestock. Through good farming practices, there has not been an outbreak in the U.S. since 1929. However, a recent outbreak in The United Kingdom raised concerns that it could spread to this country.Top