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» February 10, 2005 «
A dry winter in California's far north brings concerns about summer water supplies for Klamath Basin farmers. Automated sensors measure the region's snowpack at only about 40 percent of average. Farmers and water managers hope for a series of storms before early April, when the federal Klamath Water Project must issue an operations plan. Water requirements for protected fish will also affect irrigation supplies for Klamath farmers.
In a decision that will be closely watched by cattle ranchers, the U.S. government modified plans to resume imports of Canadian beef. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said yesterday (Wednesday) that he will extend a ban on Canadian beef from animals 30 months of age or older. The U.S. plans a partial reopening of its market, to import younger cattle and beef. It imposed the ban in 2003, after discovery of the cattle disease BSE in Canada.
As they plan for the future, California table-grape marketers will monitor both consumers and farmers in China. During a seminar at the World Ag Expo in Tulare yesterday, a representative of the California Table Grape Commission said it intends to fight for a share of the Chinese market. Chinese consumers prefer the quality of California grapes, but Chinese farmers continue to increase their grape production.
Walnut marketers believe they scored with a television commercial that aired during the Super Bowl broadcast last Sunday. The walnut cooperative Diamond of California says the ad for its snack product Emerald Nuts has earned praise from critics and response from consumers. It's too early to know if sales have increased, but the co-op says traffic on the Emerald Nuts Web site surged after the ad aired. The offbeat ad featured a unicorn, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.
On the Calendar:
The 56th annual Forest Products Exposition and Equipment Show, sponsored by the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference, starts today (Thursday) in Anderson.