Food & Farm News
September 26, 2012
Wine survey shows optimism
A strong and growing consumer base bodes well for the California wine business, and a newly released survey of wine executives and winemakers shows cautious optimism. Wine professionals describe their customers as savvy and value-conscious wine drinkers. The annual survey also noted that demand for wine has not been matched by establishment of new vineyards in California, and that could lead to a long-term grape shortage.
Date crop looks good
One part of the Southern California date harvest is wrapping up this week, with the next part set to begin. Medjool-variety dates are most often eaten fresh, and growers say that the fruit looks juicy and plump. As harvest of Medjool dates ends, the harvest for the cooking-variety date, known as the Deglet Noor, will begin in the next two weeks. The California Date Commission says the state
Heat helps the harvest
A string of warm late-summer and early-autumn weather in the Central Valley has been mostly a benefit to farmers. For example, the heat and the fair weather help to dry raisins on the vine and as they lay in vineyards on racks and tarps. The heat has brought few reports of sunburn, which can affect grapes and other fruit. The dry weather also benefits nut growers as they harvest their crops, a process that involves shaking the trees and then collecting the nuts from the orchard floor.
Ag plates will hit the road in March
Special vehicle license plates promoting California agriculture will hit the road in March of next year. Agricultural organizations succeeded in signing up more than 8,000 drivers for the plates. Funds from the special plates will benefit agricultural education, career training and youth leadership development programs. The design on the license plate includes a sunrise over a fertile green field and the words, “Food, Fiber, Fuel, Flora.”