January 26, 2001 |
The double whammy of spiraling natural gas prices and costly power interruptions has slammed many sectors of California agriculture, making tough times even worse for businesses already feeling the pinch of low commodity prices. Dairy farmers may be able to get consumers to shoulder part of their growing financial burden through price increases.
January 16, 2001 |
A fungus that is killing oaks along parts of the California coastal region has been found in a common garden plant, further complicating efforts to contain the mysterious affliction and track its origins. UC scientists announced last week that the organism responsible for "sudden oak death" had been detected in commercial rhododendron stock grown near some Santa Cruz County oaks dying of the disease.
December 21, 2000 |
Californian Ann M. Veneman, tapped by President-elect George W. Bush to become the first female U.S. secretary of Agriculture, is no stranger to the potentially treacherous political turf of farm policy. Raised on a Modesto peach ranch, the Sacramento lawyer was second-in-command at the federal Department of Agriculture when Bush's father was president and served as California secretary of food and agriculture under Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.
December 20, 2000 |
Four decades after the remote Trinity River was dammed and diverted to pour water into California's farm belt, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt on Tuesday cut the flow to growers to keep more water in the north. In emotional ceremonies on the ancestral lands of the 4,000-member Hoopa tribe, Babbitt said his decision fulfilled a pledge he made in 1993 to the Hoopa and Yurok tribes, which have economic and cultural ties to the river and the salmon that swim in it. "This wasn't just a project.
December 2, 2000 |
A federal appeals court has ruled that Philip Morris Cos.' Kraft Foods and several other cheese makers must face allegations that they illegally conspired to drive down milk prices paid to California farmers. An antitrust suit filed by milk producers in 1998 had been dismissed when a judge ruled in part that the case didn't meet antitrust standards because it didn't show harm to consumers in the form of higher prices. The 9th U.S.
November 27, 2000 |
Faced with tomato cannery bankruptcies, infestations of glassy-winged sharpshooters and slumping commodity prices, California farmers already had plenty to worry about. Then the state Board of Equalization--spurred by farm equipment dealers in California--got on their case. Beginning this month, farmers who bought tractors, combines and other heavy equipment from dealers outside California may be visited by "revenue opportunity specialists" from the Sacramento tax authority.
November 22, 2000 |
The agricultural workers in California who help put nutritious fruits and vegetables on American tables themselves suffer from a "startlingly high" risk for chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke--probably because of poor nutrition. This is true despite the workers' relative youth and vigorous physical exertion, according to the most comprehensive study of farm workers' health ever done in California, released Tuesday.
November 22, 2000 |
"No Grapes!"--a spirited rallying cry of the labor movement and the political left for much of the last four decades--officially receded into history Tuesday as the United Farm Workers of America declared an end to its protracted boycott of California table grapes. The announcement by UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez makes official what had already become a fait accompli; the union and even its loyal followers had mostly lost interest in the sanction against the state's grape growers.
October 23, 2000 |
In the final days of its legislative session, Congress is dealing with issues of great national importance: foreign policy, education, social services--and avocados. Legislation designed to aid California's avocado industry was slipped into an agriculture spending bill, but it threatens to set off an international trade dispute.
September 24, 2000 |
Despite opposition from farmers, Gov. Gray Davis has agreed to sign legislation that will encourage use of less harmful pesticides at schools and will require that parents be notified of pesticide use around their children's classrooms. The bill, by Assemblyman Kevin Shelley (D-San Francisco), is weaker than a similar Shelley measure that Davis vetoed last year and is not as strong as some environmentalists wanted. It does not actually require use of less toxic pesticides at schools.