Two farming brothers east of Delhi will keep their 39 acres from being developed under an agreement announced this week. Rodrigo and Juan Carlos Espinoza obtained a conservation easement, under which they get $273,000 in state and federal money in return for keeping the land in agriculture forever. The land, which grows peaches and almonds, is about three-quarters of a mile from Delhi's planned growth boundary. The property is next to 77 acres owned by relatives and placed under easements last year. The Delhi area has become a prominent place for the easements, with nine agreements covering about 600 acres. The Central Valley Farmland Trust arranged the Espinoza easement with money from the California Department of Conservation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wisconsin remained the top state for cheese production last year, but No. 2 California continued to gain, the USDA reported. Wisconsin produced about 2.45 billion pounds, and the Golden State turned out about 2.29 billion. The gap of 160 million pounds compares with 262 million in 2006. California knocked Wisconsin from the top spot in milk production in 1993 and has been closing the cheese gap in recent years. About half of California's milk goes to cheese plants, several of them in and near Stanislaus County.
Growing and marketing blueberries, an emerging crop in California thanks to heat-tolerant varieties, will be discussed at an event May 21 in Fresno County. Experts will talk about irrigation, pest control and other farming topics, as well as the need for smart marketing as the state's acreage grows. Participants also will taste more than 50 blueberry varieties. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the University of California Kearney Agricultural Center, 9240 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier. The cost is $25 by Friday, $35 afterward. The registration form is at http://ucanr.org/blueberryday.pdf. For more information, contact Manuel Jimenez at 559-685-3309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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