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» December 4, 2007 «
The head of the state's largest farm organization says family farmers and ranchers will need to stay active and vocal during the coming year, to influence policy debates on water, land and other issues. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar spoke yesterday (Monday) at the organization's Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada. He said Farm Bureau would seek a water bond that increases surface water storage and will push for passage of a ballot initiative to secure private property rights.
Farmers south of the delta facing irrigation water reductions are changing planting plans. Fresno County farmers will plant about 40 percent less cotton, according to the agricultural commissioner. Some growers on the Westside are drilling wells to supplement their irrigation water. They will plant wheat and other grains that are tolerant to the high boron content of well water. Growers plan to use what surface irrigation water they receive for permanent crop such as almonds, grapes and pistachios. Farmers in other counties are assessing their options.
California remains the nation's top dairy-producing state. New government statistics show that 7 of the 10 top milk-marketing counties in the country are in California. Those 10 counties market 25 percent of the federal market order milk. Tulare County is the leader, followed by Merced, Stanislaus, Kings and Kern. Fresno and San Joaquin counties are 7th and 8th. Others in the top 10 are Maricopa in Arizona, Lancaster in Pennsylvania and Yakima in Washington.
A Yolo County walnut farmer has won a statewide award for environmental stewardship. Craig McNamara of Winters accepted the Leopold Conservation Award yesterday during the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Sparks, Nevada. McNamara employs a number of farming techniques to protect his watershed. He also founded an organization to educate young people about agriculture and the environment.Top