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» February 4, 2005 «
A meeting next week will help government agencies decide how to respond to a pest that threatens California avocado trees. An insect called the avocado lace bug now infests more than 40 residential sites in San Diego County. So far, the pest has stayed away from commercial avocado groves, and county officials want to keep it that way. They have asked the state to take a variety of steps to slow spread of the bug.
Work to reduce fire hazards in national forests would receive a significant increase from the Bush administration's budget proposal. Forestry officials said yesterday (Thursday) the administration proposes to spend $867 million in the coming year, to implement the Healthy Forests Initiative. The program includes thinning of forests near towns, in order to reduce the threat of devastating wildfires. Such work occurred on nearly 2 million acres last year.
Super Bowl Sunday provides a sales boost for cheese, nuts, avocados and many other food items. Chicken producers also benefit from extra sales for the big game. Marketers say sales of chicken wings surge by 35 percent during Super Bowl week. An estimated 500 million chicken wings will be consumed. Most California-grown chicken originates in two Central Valley counties, Merced and Stanislaus.
The return of sunny weather to Southern California has brightened the outlook for flower growers. Many worried last month, when dark, cloudy weather slowed flower growth. Farmers in the state's main flower-producing region, San Diego County, feared their blooms would not develop in time for Valentine's Day. The recent weather has assured that the flowers will be ready. But the earlier delays caused some buyers to turn to other sources to assure supplies.Top