California's carrot acreage up more than 30% year-over-year, officials say; plantings of broccoli up 8%, celery 4%, cauliflower 3%

SACRAMENTO, California , October 12, 2011 (press release) – Favorite fall vegetables should be in good supply, according to a crop report that shows California farmers planting more vegetables for harvest during autumn. Carrot acreage rose more than 30 percent, compared to a year ago, with harvest­ under way in the Bakersfield area. Farmers also planted 8 percent more broccoli, 4 percent more celery and 3 percent more cauliflower. The report lists quality of all four crops as good-to-excellent.

In a rarity, a California sawmill reopens

Dignitaries will gather in Sonora tomorrow (Wednesday) to celebrate the reopening of a sawmill that had been closed for two years. It's a rare occasion in a state where more than 80 sawmills have closed in the last 20 years, due to tightening logging regulations and weakness in the lumber market. Sierra Pacific Industries reopened the Sonora mill this summer, after retooling it to be able to process a wider variety of log sizes.

Landowners value beauty of forest, range

People who own forest or rangeland cite the “natural beauty” of the land as its most important attribute, according to a University of California survey. Landowners also value forest or rangeland as a financial investment … although only about one-third reported earning income off the land. The university said it undertook the survey to learn more about people who own the state's 34 million acres of private forests and rangeland.

Rice farmers cooperate to benefit birds

Calling it the culmination of years of work, an agency says it has launched a pilot project to enhance bird habitat in California rice fields. Seventy farmers in Glenn and Colusa counties will cooperate with the U.S. Agriculture Department to manage their fields in ways intended to benefit both farmers and waterbirds. Techniques include flooding fields earlier or maintaining water longer in the season, and at depths that birds prefer.

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