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» August 30, 2007 «
Increasingly, "back to school" means "back to the garden" for California schoolchildren. Nearly 4,000 school sites around the state have taken advantage of grant money to create and promote school gardens. Educators say the instructional gardens help students learn topics including science, nutrition, math and language arts. More than two-thirds of the instructional gardens are located at elementary schools.
Removing agricultural trade barriers will help American farmers remain competitive, according to the leader of the nation's largest farm organization. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said yesterday (Wednesday) that a series of proposed trade agreements would benefit all sectors of U.S. agriculture. Trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, Panama and Peru would reduce tariffs that U.S. farmers must pay, to sell their crops to consumers in those nations.
Peach growers may shake up the way they prepare their crops each spring. University of California researchers have been testing a mechanical method to thin peach crops by shaking the trees. Farmers typically thin their crops by hand, to assure production of large-sized fruit. But it's become harder for them to hire enough people to do the work. Farm advisors have been testing the mechanical method in Northern California orchards and say more work is needed to perfect it.
There's a new source of help for farmers whose crops face whitefly infestations. The tiny flies suck the juices from plants, spread crop diseases and cause significant losses. Several types of whiteflies attack crops including a relatively new strain … known as the "Q biotype" … which has arrived in California and 21 other states. Now, researchers have assembled an online resource to help farmers, with recommendations on prevention and control.Top