CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 13, 2010 |
The two Republicans at the top of California's November ticket fanned out across the Central Valley this week, denouncing government dysfunction and asserting that their business experience would help them rescue the region's unemployed workers, small firms and struggling family farms. "I have spent a lot of time in the valley, and what is going on here due to lack of water is a humanitarian crisis," gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman told scores of supporters on a recent afternoon in a sweltering feed warehouse in Lemoore, about 30 miles south of Fresno.
August 27, 2009 |
A tiny disease-carrying insect that could bring down California's $1.6-million citrus industry continues an inexorable march north into one of the nation's premier orange and lemon growing regions. State officials said Wednesday that they now have found the bug in Echo Park, the most northern spotting yet. Routine traps captured a single Asian citrus psyllid on a citrus tree at a home in the Los Angeles neighborhood Monday. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now setting up hundreds or more traps in an eight-square-mile area around the home where the insect was discovered.
January 20, 2009 |
Is it trespassing when bees do what bees do in California's tangerine groves? That is the question being weighed by state agriculture officials caught between beekeepers who prize orange blossom honey and citrus growers who blame the bees for causing otherwise seedless mandarin oranges to develop pips. "Both sides are unwilling to give any ground, and both have valid points," said Jerry Prieto, a former Fresno County agricultural commissioner who has spent six months mediating the dispute.
July 27, 2007 |
China's booming economy has spelled trouble for many U.S. farmers who have lost market share to low-cost Chinese imports. But some California growers are cashing in on China's increasing wealth and growing hunger for table grapes, almonds and other high-quality fruits and nuts that don't grow as well in the Asian nation. Such high-priced commodities helped drive the value of U.S. agricultural exports to China from less than $1.9 billion in 2001 to nearly $6.7 billion last year.
January 2, 2005 |
A hulking, nameless creature lumbers among the citrus trees, its eight arms and eyes in constant motion, searching for its prey: oranges. Part robot, part tractor, the contraption is an unusual combination of one internal-combustion engine, four rubber tires, eight digital cameras, eight electronic arms and an excruciating number of computer algorithms that choreograph every movement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2002 |
The agriculture industry's exemption from clean-air controls may be nearing an end as federal air quality officials announced this week that they will move ahead with plans to begin regulating farms in California. The California Farm Bureau, however, quickly filed suit to block the action. Unlike most other industries, agriculture is exempt from stringent smog controls, a loophole the state Legislature granted a generation ago and that air quality officials tacitly honored until now.