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Agriculture briefs

California dairy farmers have asked the state Department of Food and Agriculture once more to consider raising milk prices.

The farmers, who say they have reached an agreement with the state’s dairy processors, want California to change its milk pricing formula for 12 months to provide the dairyman an extra $110 million.

A spokeswoman for dairy processors told the California Farm Bureau Federation’s AgAlert that processors had agreed to boost prices when warranted by economic conditions. But disagreement remains on exactly how to implement any changes.

The federation reported last week that the dairy sector has lost more $2 billion in the past five years, and 400 dairy farms have stopped operations, leaving about 1,500 still in business.

Humboldt County Farm Bureau celebrates 100th anniversary

Humboldt County’s Farm Bureau, the first in California, on Saturday celebrated its 100th anniversary.

The Humboldt farm bureau opened in 1913, in order to assure that local farmers had access to agricultural research from the new University of California’s farm advisor program, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation. Humboldt County became the second county in the nation to organize a local farm bureau.

The organization celebrated with a family festival that included a homemade pie contest and a photo/art contest featuring the barns of Humboldt County.

The celebration ended with a dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse outside Eureka.

California farm delegation travels to China

California Secretary of Food & Agriculture Karen Ross in September will lead an agricultural trade delegation to China and Vietnam.

With stops planned in Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City, the delegation will seek new export opportunities for California farmers, ranchers and food processors.

The visit follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s trip to China in April, in which he opened a state Trade and Investment Office in Shanghai. That office will help connect the farm delegation members with Chinese counterparts interested in purchasing California products.

China is the world’s third-largest importer of California farm products. More than $1.7 billion in state farm exports are sent there annually. Vietnam currently ranks as the 12th largest exporter. California farm exports there amount to more than $196 million — a 43 percent increase from the previous year.

— Compiled by Robert Digitale. Submit items to robert.digitale@pressdemocrat.com.

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