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» May 7, 2008 «
In the two weeks since a damaging freeze hit crops in Northern California, farmers have been working to assess, and minimize, the impact. In frost-damaged vineyards, grape farmers direct crews to remove affected shoots. The slow process leaves undamaged buds and shoots on the vines, so they'll bear new fruit. Although the vines won't produce as much fruit as they would have before the freeze, farmers say they hope the secondary growth will produce high-quality grapes.
Several consecutive weeks of dry weather have left a lot of parched land in California, making observance of Wildfire Awareness Week particularly timely. State fire officials emphasized prevention during a news conference in Sacramento yesterday (Tuesday). They urged rural homeowners to create a defensible perimeter of at least 100 feet around their homes and other buildings. Wildfires in Southern California last fall killed 10 people and burned more than a half-million acres.
They've ruled out a couple of possibilities, as insect experts try to identify brown moths that have been swarming in parking lots near Redding. The moths seem to be attracted to flowers at a nursery. So far, entomologists have determined the mystery moths are not gypsy moths or Pacific tent moths. Experts are have sent specimens to the California Department of Food and Agriculture in an effort to identify the moths.
Organic milk production has grown rapidly in California. A report from the California Department of Food and Agriculture says total sales of organic milk increased nearly 55 percent in April, compared to the same month in 2007. The largest increase within the organic-milk category came in sales of organic fat-free milk, which rose 60 percent.Top