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» September 20, 2007 «
The state's largest farm group says it supports Governor Schwarzenegger's call for investment in new water storage. The California Farm Bureau Federation said yesterday (Wednesday) the state is long overdue in developing reservoirs to provide for its people and its environment. Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said water shortages already affect many farmers. He said new reservoirs will provide water for urban and environmental needs, and relieve pressure to fallow farmland during future droughts.
The focus was on the future at a meeting of the State Board of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento yesterday. Farmers and analysts discussed trends that will affect agriculture in the nation's number-one farm state. One of those trends stems from California's rising land values. As land becomes more expensive, farmers will own less and lease more. A California Farm Bureau leader told the board that that trend is a "huge change" that policy makers should monitor.
Expanding sales to Mexico encourage California apple growers. In only the second year of sales, farmers more than doubled shipments of Gala-variety apples to Mexico. The California Apple Commission says more than 20,000 boxes of Galas were shipped this season. Domestic demand for the fruit has also been strong. The commission says farmers have finished harvesting Gala apples and reported good fruit quality.
Only when the last Medfly is found will farmers near Dixon know how long they'll be bound by restrictions on moving their produce. The discovery of Mediterranean fruit flies in a residential area of Dixon prompted the quarantine. Officials say the restrictions might last until next July, or even longer. The rules aim to prevent the Medfly from spreading, and will stay in effect until traps find no new flies long enough to assure the threat has passed.Top