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» June 14, 2007 «
Eased pumping restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta may have come in time to prevent more-severe water shortages in the western San Joaquin Valley. Farmers who buy water from the Westlands Water District will have only a 50-percent supply because of the dry winter. But they learned at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) that they should expect no further reductions, for now. Water pumping from the delta has begun to increase after being halted or curtailed to benefit a protected fish.
Two nations reduced restrictions on American beef yesterday. Japan said it would no longer require every shipment of American beef to be re-inspected and Malaysia said it has agreed to resume imports. A number of nations banned U.S. beef after isolated cases of the cattle disease BSE occurred. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said he was "gratified" by the developments.
For the people who fight invasive pests in California, no news is often good news. That's the case in Monterey Park, where no new guava fruit flies have been found for more than three weeks. State inspectors say they're cautiously optimistic that the infestation is under control. Treatments to lure and kill male flies appear to have succeeded. The guava fruit fly attacks citrus fruit, peaches and other California crops.
To make sheep more effective at fighting weeds in vineyards, specialists are teaching sheep to concentrate on the weeds and leave the vines alone. Having sheep graze in vineyards can provide a weed-control tool for farmers, but the animals sometimes snack on immature grapes and on grape leaves. University of California researchers have been experimenting with techniques to discourage sheep from eating the grapes and leaves … and say their efforts appear to be succeeding.Top