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» November 6, 2007 «
Saying "this fight is not over," Senator Dianne Feinstein said yesterday (Monday) she will try again in coming months to gain passage of the immigration-reform measure known as AgJOBS. But Feinstein said she has decided not to offer it as an amendment to federal farm legislation. The Senate debates the Farm Bill this week. Feinstein said AgJOBS will help farmers hire a stable, reliable workforce and she plans to renew her efforts to pass it this winter or early next year.
With the California winegrape harvest now virtually complete, marketers say farmers benefited from favorable weather but continue to suffer from lackluster demand for many varieties. In an end-of-season report, the Allied Grape Growers marketing cooperative said farmers enjoyed a long and well-paced harvest. It says California winemakers face strong competition from other regions and nations, but there's optimism about continued sales increases for California wines.
As the California cotton harvest heads into the homestretch, farmers say weather has been generally cooperative and yields have been better than last year's. But farmers say cotton prices have stayed low and they worry about having enough water to grow the crop in future years. A government report issued yesterday says the California cotton harvest is two-thirds completed. Farmers planted about 450 thousand acres in the Central Valley this season.
Promotions of California-grown products ranging from asparagus to grapes to walnuts gained extra mileage from participation in a federal marketing program. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday it had distributed $200 million through the Market Access Program, to help trade groups and cooperatives promote farm products to foreign consumers. More than five-dozen organizations, including 17 California-based groups, participated in the program.Top