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» September 17, 2008 «
About 18 dairy farms will lose the buyers for their milk November 1 when Foster Farms ends its contracts with the producers. There are few other milk buyers because new processing plants have not been built for several years. Complex California regulations have caused several milk processors to locate new facilities in other states. No new facilities could be built in time to help the affected farmers. Dairy organizations are helping these farmers sort out alternative solutions.
New research suggests that broccoli could help people with chronic lung disease. The study was done at the Johns Hopkins Medical School. The findings add to the list of benefits linked to broccoli. The latest study focused on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which affects some 16-million Americans. Broccoli helps prevent the degradation of one of the key components of the lung's defense system. The findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Magazine.
Honeydew melon production in the San Joaquin Valley may decline in the near future because of tight water supplies. Farm advisors say the soils and climate in the valley are ideal for honeydew melon production, but with limits on irrigation water, permanent crops like almonds and walnuts will use most of the available water. There are areas of the southern Sacramento Valley where growers are able to "dry farm" the crop. The water table is so high the plants are nourished by groundwater.
Researchers have found new production methods that could improve fruit color of apples and increase weight. They've sprayed microscopic mineral particles on apple trees and on the ground between tree rows. A test area was not treated at all. The results in treated rows were redder apples and fruit that averaged higher weight. The particles altered the light quality reflected onto the fruit. As a result of the research, new management techniques for apple growers are being developed.Top