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» July 9, 2008 «
As firefighters battle the Gap fire in Santa Barbara County, agricultural officials assess potential damage to fruit trees near the fire lines. The county agricultural commissioner says the fire has singed avocado and citrus groves near the bottom of the steep hills that are burning. The commissioner says it's still too early to assess the extent of losses. But he says some trees look stressed from heat, and some may have to be replaced.
Water is precious on the farm, and new technology allows farmers to manage their irrigation more precisely. Devices known as "smart controllers" calculate data on temperature, soil moisture, historic water needs and other factors, and automatically adjust irrigation timing. A specialist with the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State University says controllers are becoming more sophisticated for both farm and home use.
Extremely dry weather throughout the spring and summer has reduced the mildew pressure in Central Valley orchards. A government report says farmers are harvesting a wide variety of apricots, peaches, plums, pluots and nectarines … and that table-grape harvest has started in Kern County. Nut growers have been protecting their trees from insects and worms, with harvests still a few weeks away.
"Have you scratched a cow lately?" That question turns up in an unlikely spot: California lottery tickets. Cows from the California Milk Advisory Board's 'Happy Cows' campaign appear on the lottery's latest Scratchers tickets. The California Lottery calls it a first-ever promotion. The partnership promotes the Real California Milk campaign, and will feature cow-related games and prizes at the California State Fair and the Orange, Ventura and Los Angeles county fairs.Top