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» March 17, 2008 «
Lack of a statewide law to combat metal theft allows thieves to "shop" for locations where they can sell stolen goods more easily, according to officials who gathered in Fresno (Friday). Metal theft has plagued farms, homes and businesses. A California Farm Bureau spokeswoman said every farmer has been a victim of metal theft, or knows someone who has. A bill in the state Legislature would require scrap-metal dealers to keep better records and to pay for metal by check, not cash.
Demand for asparagus will increase this week. The California Asparagus Commission says the Easter holiday traditionally brings a jump in consumer demand. Farmers in the San Joaquin Delta say they'll have good supplies of asparagus for the holiday. The commission says the quality of the vegetable is excellent this year. The seasonal demand contributes to strong prices for asparagus during the early part of the harvest.
Strong wheat prices have led to expanded acreage in California and, so far, farmers report their grain is developing well. Growers say they hope for rain, which would alleviate the need to irrigate their wheat. Farmers say the crop looks better than it did last year at this time. The California Wheat Commission says farmers have been vigilant in checking fields for potential crop diseases, and there have been only a few reports of trouble.
An insect that troubles California farmers has been nearly eradicated in Tahiti, thanks to biological control. A researcher from the University of California, Riverside, says large populations of the glassy-winged sharpshooter have disappeared from Tahiti, after his team introduced a tiny, predatory wasp onto the island. The wasp eats sharpshooter eggs. In California, the sharpshooter transmits a plant disease that can kill grapevines and other crops.Top