Food & Farm News
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» June 30, 2008 «
Thousands of acres of rangeland and timberland have burned, as crews battle California wildfires. Most rangeland was already in poor condition due to dry weather, and fire brings more loss of grasses needed to feed livestock. Fires have hit timber farms, with more than 14-thousand acres of redwoods and Douglas fir trees reported to have burned. Fire crews are stretched so thin that at least one timber farm has hired private firefighters to try to save its trees.
Sacramento Valley farmers say they're relieved, after a federal judge in Fresno denied a request by environmental groups (Friday). The groups wanted the judge to issue an emergency order to raise flows in the Sacramento River on behalf of fish. The action would have cut water serving 150-thousand acres of crops in Tehama, Colusa, Glenn and Yolo counties. The affected farmers have already seen water allocations cut to 40 percent of contract supplies.
An intense effort at the California-Mexico border aims to keep out a citrus pest. The insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, was trapped in Tijuana, less than two miles from the California border. The psyllid can carry a disease called citrus greening, which kills citrus trees. Neither the disease nor the insect has been found in California, and authorities want to keep it that way. Border inspectors have been alerted to be vigilant in searching for the insect as people enter the U.S.
On-farm prices for California eggs have declined for a second straight month. A report (issued Friday) says California farmers earned an average of 73 cents a dozen for eggs in May. That's down 60 cents a dozen from March, when on-farm prices peaked. The most-recent egg prices are the lowest since June of last year. The report says California chickens laid more than 430-million eggs during May.Top