Agriculture briefs

The $24.5 billion twin tunnels plan for the Delta might not give state officials the flexibility they want to more efficiently move water to far-flung portions of the state, a new study concludes.

The report by outside experts also called "overly optimistic" the hope that restoring large tracts of wetland habitat in the Delta will help certain fish.

The report is neither a broad review nor a condemnation of the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, said Jeff Mount, chairman of the team and a rivers consultant and UC Davis geology professor.

Water exports might increase to a "modest" degree during wet years, the report said, but the plan "does not significantly reduce pressure on the Delta during drier periods."

A spokesman for the California Resources Agency noted that the outside review was based on a draft version that was released last spring. Changes since have been made to address earlier comments made by government agencies.

Record milk production

Milk production in New Zealand is rebounding to a record as pastures recover from drought, accelerating shipments from the largest exporter just as U.S. supply expands to an all-time high.

New Zealand's output will expand 4.5 percent in the year ending May 31 after the most widespread drought in three decades. Meanwhile, U.S. dairy farmers will produce 1.2 percent more in 2014, estimates from the two countries' governments show. World dairy prices tracked by the United Nations rose to the highest in more than five years in April, the fastest gain in its 55-item food index. Estimates for record grain supply drove the gauge lower in eight of the past 11 months while cutting costs for U.S. dairy farmers.

Cheaper milk reduces expenses for everyone from Cheesecake Factory's 165 restaurants to Dean Foods Co., the largest U.S. processor.

Recycling Day on Nov. 12

Farmers, nurseries and others can recycle plastic pesticide containers Nov. 12 outside Healdsburg at the Fall Plastic Recycling Day.

The event is sponsored by the Sonoma County Agricultural Commissioner's Office. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sonoma County Healdsburg Corporate Yard, 17270 Healdsburg Ave., across the street from the entrance to the Healdsburg Transfer Station.

Plastic containers ranging in size from 1 pint to 55 gallons will be accepted. Lids must be removed and the containers must be triple rinsed, punctured and dry.

This event is open to growers, dairies, nurseries, pest control businesses, golf courses, parks and other government agencies.

— Staff and wire reports

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