Our readers in California will notice something different about their Capital Press beginning Oct. 2.

For many years we have published a separate edition for California, another for the parts of Oregon and Washington west of the Cascades, and another for the parts of Oregon and Washington east of the Cascades.

The front section of each edition had stories specifically targeting the state where the paper was delivered.

Reader surveys conducted by our marketing department show that while readers are interested in news generated within their state, there is greater interest in agricultural news from across the West.

That makes sense. While a farm or ranch is in many ways a local business, it's a local business that's influenced by factors not limited to geography.

The condition of fruit crops in Washington impacts the price California growers receive. Environmental regulations born in California eventually find their way in one form or another to the Northwest.

Every farm and ranch operation in the West has similar concerns about water policy, immigration, trade, animal health, food safety, labor and environmental regulations.

Beginning Oct. 2 the Capital Press will give its readers a more comprehensive view of the issues facing agriculture and agribusiness in the West.

The content of the California, Oregon and Washington editions will be merged.

As changes are taking place in our print publications, we've been working hard to improve our online content and presentation.

Our website, www.capitalpress.com, recently underwent an extensive renovation. Part of that process involved installing new software that will allow us to expand the number of e-mail newsletters we offer readers.

Currently, we offer daily and weekly newsletters that offer the top ag stories from across the West and the nation.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Capital Press will launch a new weekly e-mail newsletter featuring some of our top California agriculture stories of the week.

Then, on Thursday, Oct. 22, we will also launch a weekly e-mail newsletter featuring our top dairy stories of the week.

Registered users of the

capitalpress.com website can sign up for either -- or both -- newsletters now and will start receiving the newsletters on their scheduled start dates.

We plan to offer additional newsletters in the future. It's our hope that the new print edition, coupled with the new online products, will better serve the news interests of our readers.

Joe Beach is editor of the Capital Press.

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