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Protesting farmers make a statement with tractors

Thursday, June 18, 2009

European milk prices got farmers to protest in Brussels.
European milk prices got farmers to protest in Brussels.

Farmers in California protesting water diversions ordered by the federal government to protect endangered fish drove several dozen tractors onto a major freeway in Central California on Monday.

Meanwhile, dairy farmers in Europe used a similar tactic to protest low milk prices at the seat of the European parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

Belgian police said 600 tractors caused traffic chaos around Brussels Thursday. Farmers are protesting plans by the European Union to reduce milk quotas to further limit a country's annual output to prevent surplus stocks from building up, the Associated Press reported.

Dairy Farmers in Galicia, Spain also drove hundreds of tractors through the streets if the city of Santiago de Compostela to protest milk prices. The website typicallyspanish.com reported that farmers on tractors staged protests in other towns in the region on Thursday.

In California, a three-year drought has left many farmers desperate for water, but a federal fisheries agency wants to further reduce water flows to protect fish.

"These cuts are crippling on our people and businesses - especially in the Central Valley where farmers are being forced to fallow their land and workers are being laid off," said Laura King Moon, assistant general manager of the State Water Contractors.
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