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» February 25, 2008 «
The slump in the housing market and concerns about the overall economy leave plant nursery growers uncertain about their prospects for the coming year. Nurseries that produce the trees and plants used for landscaping planned for this season's sales three to five years ago, based on economic conditions at the time. They hope homeowners trying to sell their properties will spruce up their old places with new plants, to make their homes stand out in a tight sales market.
It believes California-grown olives taste better, so the Olive Growers Council wants stricter federal enforcement of flavor grading for ripe olives. A law adopted in 1937 lists olives among crops that should be graded for flavor, to develop dependable markets. The growers' council says flavor standards would give consumers information they need. California farmers also want the standards to apply to imported olives, which they say tend to be of lower quality.
To help dairy farmers protect the environment and meet regulatory requirements, experts have launched a "technology review project" of processes for treating cow manure. A University of California specialist in Davis says vendors will provide scientific data to an expert panel, about what their technology accomplishes and how it works. Reviewers will compile information on the treatments, to help farmers evaluate options for handling dairy manure.
For the third time in five years, a California college student has won a national speaking contest devoted to agricultural topics. Grace Berryhill of Tulare won the American Farm Bureau Collegiate Discussion Meet, held last week in Baltimore. Berryhill studies agriculture at California State University, Chico. In the final round of the competition, she discussed how the perception of the family farm affects agricultural policy.Top