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» January 25, 2005 «
Illegal trash dumping has been a growing problem for California farms and ranches ... and officials learned the extent of the problem when they organized a pilot program to collect tires illegally dumped in one Central Valley county. The program, organized by the Kern County Farm Bureau and local officials, collected some 3,000 tires in just half a day. Farmers say the results underscore the need for better enforcement of trash-dumping ordinances.
Gloomy winter weather may have an up side, for crews fighting an insect pest. Researchers studying the glassy-winged sharpshooter say the insects won't feed when temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Two or three straight days of that could increase sharpshooter death rates. Scientists are studying Central Valley temperatures, to see if they can predict where sharpshooters will emerge this spring. The insect spreads a disease that kills grapevines and other plants.
New markets have opened for Imperial County winter vegetables. Buyers from Japan and Taiwan are purchasing broccoli and iceberg lettuce. Marketers are sending the produce across the Pacific by both air and ship. Analysts say favorable exchange rates and the excellent quality of produce have encouraged the Asian buyers to purchase Imperial Valley vegetables.
With its growing economy and its population of 1.3 billion people, China could be a huge potential market for California wine. But vintners and grape growers here don't know much about China's wine production or consumption. To fill that information gap, the University of California will work with grower and vintner groups this year, on a study of the Chinese wine market. The research will explore Chinese consumer preferences, import barriers and other issues.
On the Calendar:
The 64th annual Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale opens today (Tuesday) in Red Bluff.