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» November 20, 2007 «
Warning that 2008 could be "a record low year for water supplies," Riverside County water districts and farm groups hold a forum today (Tuesday) to help farmers prepare. Water suppliers will tell farmers how they plan to implement mandatory water cutbacks resulting from dry weather and recent court rulings. Farmers who buy water through specific contracts with the region's wholesale water provider will see supplies reduced 30 percent in January.
Bee experts have ruled out Australia as a likely source of a virus associated with "colony collapse disorder." Government researchers say the virus has been in the country for at least five years. That's before American beekeepers started importing bees from Australia to restock their hives. The researchers say they still think the virus may be a factor in the bee disorder, and that they've found distinct strains of the virus in Israel, California and other states.
A drought disaster has been declared in Shasta County, making farmers and ranchers eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Monday) that farmers in neighboring counties are also eligible to apply for aid. Shasta is the northernmost California county among more than two-dozen to receive a disaster declaration because of this year's dry weather.
The pre-Thanksgiving rush has ended for a Salinas-based distributor that sends supplies to food banks throughout California. The organization, Ag Against Hunger, continues to receive surplus fresh vegetables from farmers. It, in turn, provides that fresh produce to food banks that serve the needy. Ag Against Hunger says it expects to have produce from the Salinas Valley available until mid-December, and will later supply produce from the Imperial Valley and Arizona.Top