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» August 21, 2007 «
The outcome of a court hearing that starts in Fresno today (Tuesday) could significantly affect water supplies for the Central Valley and Southern California. A federal judge will determine whether to impose further restrictions on pumping water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to protect a fish called the delta smelt. Environmental groups have pressed for sharp cuts in water exports. Water agencies and farm groups say other factors have caused fish populations to decline.
A surge in sales to Australia has helped push California table grape exports ahead of last year's pace. The California Table Grape Commission says Australia changed its rules for importing California grapes and, as a result, imports have risen three-fold from previous highs. Overall better availability of California grapes has boosted exports to other parts of the world, as well, and the commission reports strong foreign demand for the crop.
A seasonal shortfall in lamb production has pushed on-farm prices higher, and lamb producers have generally earned profitable prices for their animals this year. The California Wool Growers Association says producers adjusted their marketing plans after large supplies of lamb hit the market a year ago. The U.S. Agriculture Department says market prices for lamb range between 5 percent and 15 percent higher.
For the first time, students at the University of California, Davis, will be able this fall to major in "agricultural and environmental science education." The university said it had decided to begin offering the new course of study, to keep up with rising demand for agricultural and environmental-science teachers. After completing an undergraduate degree, students could simultaneously earn a teaching credential and masters of education degree in two years.Top