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 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.
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.
August 23, 2000 |
California's olive growers are battling a tiny Mediterranean pest that farmers say could devastate their industry in just a few years if it continues to spread at its current rapid pace. Found just two years ago on ornamental trees in backyards and highway medians throughout Southern California, the pinhead-sized olive fruit fly has since migrated into the San Joaquin Valley, the heart of the state's $100-million commercial olive industry.
August 20, 2000 |
The steel milking carousel in Ken DeGroot's dairy barn is bigger than a carnival ride, allowing him to milk 54 rotating Jerseys in a matter of minutes. His neighbor, Rob Hilarides, has ordered one just like it, only bigger, accommodating 80 cows at a time. By "super-sizing" their dairies and introducing such high-tech innovations as this monster milker, California dairy farmers have managed to thrive, even as federal price supports have eroded and milk prices have dropped.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 6, 2000 |
Group cites risk of disease and pests in its effort to have Department of Agriculture reverse new policy. Citrus growers announced Wednesday that they intend to file a lawsuit aimed at overturning a federal decision to allow Argentine citrus to be imported into the United States. The Santa Paula-based U.S. Citrus Science Council, which has spearheaded the fight against the importation of Argentine citrus, notified U.S.
June 9, 2000 |
When Joe Kretsch looked into the jar of ugly-looking bugs, he knew the war against the latest voracious pest to threaten California agriculture had finally reached his doorstep. Inside the jar were half a dozen glassy-winged sharpshooter nymphs from a friend's backyard vine--confirmation that infestation has spread to the heart of the Central Valley, state agriculture officials said this week.
June 9, 2000 |
The United States has approved imports of Argentine citrus after two years of bilateral negotiations and strong opposition from farmers in California. As of 2002 the fruit will be able to make its way into the producing states of California, Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona and Hawaii and the surrounding states, Argentine agriculture attache Jose Molina said. Argentine citrus exports including the world's biggest lemon crop and some grapefruit were banned from the U.S.
May 28, 2000 |
CalPERS, the country's largest public pension fund, will soon begin investing a portion of its $175-billion fund in California agriculture, a surprising vote of confidence in a sector that has not been generating strong investment returns. It is also a worrisome development to local farm groups who fear that big institutional investment will hasten consolidation in the industry and encourage more housing development on farmland.