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» February 2, 2005 «
Surveyors found plenty of snow at Echo Summit in the Sierra Nevada, during the state's monthly snow survey yesterday (Tuesday). The team found the snow at the site totaled about 160 percent of average ... which equals the statewide figure. The surveys help water planners estimate summer water deliveries, although both state and federal water projects have told customers to expect supplies less than contract amounts.
While this winter's rains have helped restore grass on California rangelands, livestock ranchers continue to suffer the impact of dry weather that struck most of the state last year. The U.S. Agriculture Department says it will make disaster relief available to ranchers in 53 of the state's 58 counties. Affected farmers and ranchers may apply for low-interest loans. The aid is available to producers of any crops who can demonstrate drought losses.
New research shows that poultry farms produce less in air emissions that originally believed. The California Poultry Federation says researchers studied the air at a Central Valley chicken house, and found far fewer emissions than had been expected. The preliminary results may affect air quality regulations for poultry farms. A separate preliminary study on dairy cows also showed fewer emissions than expected.
The on-farm value of California vegetable production approached $6 billion for the second straight year, according to a new report. The U.S. Agriculture Department says California farmers sold vegetables worth $5.9 billion last year. California dominates the nation's vegetable production, accounting for half the fresh vegetables and two-thirds of the processing vegetables grown in the U.S.
The full USDA report on vegetable production may be read online at usda.mannlib.cornell.edu