- The glassy-winged sharpshooter is a serious new agricultural pest in California. When feeding, it can transmit Pierce's disease to grapevines and other diseases to almond trees, alfalfa, citrus, and oleanders. First sighted in the state in 1990, this insect has spread throughout Southern California and into southern San Joaquin Valley. For local information about this pest, contact your county's UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor. A glassy-winged sharpshooter brochure containing pictures and information about identification and detection can be found athttp://danrcs.ucdavis.edu/Special/gwss/default.shtml.
- Kubota Tractor Company has a special program to install a rollover protection structure (ROPS) and seatbelt on certain older Kubota models. The ROPS and seat belt help reduce the chance of serious injury or death in the case of a rollover accident. For more information, contact your local Kubota dealer; visit the Kubota website at http://www.kubota.com/rops.cfm; or call 1 (888) 4-Kubota, extension 328.
- This spring, 10 nationwide hearings will allow producers to share their views with lawmakers reshaping the policies of the 1996 Farm Bill, which expires in 2002. The U.S. House Agricultural Committee is holding hearings in Alabama, California, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and South Dakota. Although the California hearing date has passed (May 1, 2000), producers may mail formal comments for the record by May 20, 2000, to: Chief Clerk, c/o U.S. House Committee On Agriculture, 1301 Longworth Bldg., Washington D.C. 20515. Informal comments can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, call (202) 225-2171 or check the web site at http://www.house.gov/agriculture/farmpol.htm.
- UC Board of Regents voted in March to revert ownership of approximately 17 acres of land in the city of Santa Clara to the state. The land is now occupied by the Bay Area Research and Extension Center (BAREC), one of 10 field research and education outreach facilities operated by the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR). Current research at BAREC will be completed or relocated to other research sites during the gradual phase-out period of the facility.
- Revised proposed rules for the National Organic Program are available for public comment March 13-June 12, 2000. The proposal offers a national definition for the term "organic," and details the methods, practices, and substances that can be used in producing organic goods and livestock. The proposed rules can be downloaded for free at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/ or, in California, by ordering a copy of the Federal Register for Monday, March 13, 2000, from the U.S. Government Bookstore in San Francisco at (415) 512-2770 or in Los Angeles at (213) 239-9844. Send rule comments, identified with docket number TMD-00-02-PR, to Keith Jones, Program Manager, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, Room 2945-So. Ag Stop 0275, P.O. Box 96456, Washington, D.C. 20090-6456; fax: (703) 365-0760; web site: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/, or call (202) 205-7808 for more information.