Food & Farm News
August 14, 2013
Winegrape harvest starts early
In California vineyards, the 2013 winegrape harvest has gotten off to an early start. Farmers throughout the state report their crops have been maturing at least a week ahead of a typical schedule. It's still too early to tell whether the crop will challenge last year's volume record. Grape growers say their crops look good, but that they worry about availability of water and about being able to hire enough people to pick their grapes once harvest peaks.
Raisin crop will be larger
Supplies of raisin-variety grapes should rebound this year. A new crop forecast estimates the raisin-grape crop will be 25 percent larger than last year's. The average vine of raisin-variety grapes will produce an estimated 48 bunches of grapes, up from 29 bunches a year ago. Not all of the raisin-variety grapes will be dried into raisins. Some will be crushed for blending into wine.
Olive harvest stabilizes
After a very small crop two years ago, the harvest of table olives should remain stable for a second straight year. Analysts say California farmers should harvest 75,000 tons of table olives—roughly three times the volume of the small 2011 crop and within 4 percent of last year's crop. The estimate pertains to olives cured to be eaten out of hand, rather than those grown for olive oil.
Program promotes avocado nutrition
To emphasize the nutritional benefits of eating avocados, a marketing group says it plans to promote the phrase “Love One Today.” The Hass Avocado Board says it wants Americans to include fresh avocados in everyday eating plans as a cholesterol-free, whole-food source of naturally good fats. It has created a website at www.loveonetoday.com with information aimed at food shoppers and health professionals.