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» August 15, 2008 «
California is free of Mediterranean fruit flies. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says the infestations have been eradicated in Solano, Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties, and restrictions on the shipment of fruits and vegetables in the quarantine zones have been lifted. The Solano County quarantine had the greatest impact on commercial farming in the area around Dixon. The zones in the other two counties covered mostly residential areas.
Only changes made in public policy can prevent forest wildfires. That's the message from witnesses at a Rural Legislative Caucus in Sacramento this week. Private landowners adjacent to public forests lose trees and crops when fire roars through poorly managed public forests. Water quality is also affected, as erosion and flooding often follow the fires. Those conditions send pollutants into streams and rivers from which much of California's water originates.
Got organic milk? If so, you're not alone. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says sales of organic milk grew by almost 34 percent during the past year. The biggest change was in whole milk, with sales that nearly doubled. Farmers, however, receive a fraction of that. Government figures show that only about 40 cents of every dollar consumers spend on milk actually goes to the farmer.
Visitors to the California State Fair this weekend have a chance to ham it up. Farmers and others will hand out samples of various cuts of pork at a promotional vehicle aptly named the Pig Mobile. Fairgoers can also watch cooking demonstrations, pick up recipes and get tips on selecting pork. Most California pork producers supply niche markets. The exhibit, which runs today (Friday) through Sunday, is to encourage more consumption by showcasing pork's versatility and ease of use.Top