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» July 27, 2007 «
The Bush administration is going all out to sway House votes on the farm bill. There are provisions in the bill that the administration believes do not go far enough to reform subsidy payments. The presidential veto threat may pressure House members to amend the bill before a vote tentatively scheduled for today (Friday). Meantime, the administration is working with Senators in an effort to craft a bill more to their liking which would include more funding for farmers growing fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Horses may be a nostalgic symbol of the Old West, but today the California the horse sector is a thriving business. A new study from the American Horse Council pegs the value of goods and services generated by California's nearly 700,000 head of horses at $4.1 billion. The new report says more than 300,000 Californians are involved in the equine sector either as horse owners, service providers, employees or volunteers.
New pear varieties are being tested in experimental plots in Northern California. Scientists are determining which new varieties will grow well in California. Fruit from trees passing that test are then presented to potential consumers for tasting. Samples are distributed at farmers markets and festivals. If consumers like the flavor, the new pear varieties are recommended to farmers for planting. Although it will take time for the new pears to reach markets, this research provides pear farmers diversification of marketable fruit.
Plum pox resistant trees have been developed by research scientists. The new variety called HoneySweet is now being tested by several universities to determine how the trees grow in different climates and soils. Plum pox was first identified in the U.S. in Pennsylvania in 1999 and has since been found in New York and Michigan. It has cost more than $40 million to eradicate it. Thus far it has not been found in California, and growers want to keep it out of the state. They'll benefit from research to combat the disease.Top