Food and Farm News



Floods hamper North Coast farms

The impact of late-February floods will likely disrupt North Coast dairy farms for some time to come. One Humboldt County dairy farmer says floodwater from the Eel River affected a number of dairies in the region. Sediment will need to be removed from pastures before cows can graze there. Dairies will also need to repair fences, wiring and water systems, a process the farmer says could take weeks.

Winter storms benefit underground aquifers

Along with swelling the Sierra snowpack, winter storms have aided efforts to replenish groundwater basins. An increasing number of regions have created places to pond water, to filter down to underground aquifers--a process known as active recharge. Groundwater experts say the rains also benefit natural recharge, but that determining just how much aquifers have risen can be difficult to measure.  


Two genes control sweetness of citrus

New, sweeter varieties of citrus fruit could result from research conducted in the Netherlands and California. By analyzing citrus raised at the University of California, Riverside, scientists in Amsterdam isolated two genes that appear to control whether citrus fruit will be sweet or sour. The discovery could help future plant breeders produce sweet-tasting fruit with just the right balance of tang.


Farmers welcome decision to end electric-line project

In a decision that relieved farmers in part of the Sacramento Valley, a utility has cancelled plans to build an electrical transmission line in Colusa and Sutter counties. Farmers who attended public meetings about the proposal said the line would have harmed farmland and wildlife that uses the farmland as habitat. One of the project's sponsors, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, cited cost in deciding to cancel the project.

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