Food & Farm News
November 13, 2013
Turkey farmers report good pre-holiday demand
The spotlight shines on turkey farmers at this time of year, and California-grown birds will be in high demand. Only 40 percent of the turkey consumed in California is grown here, so experts encourage people to plan ahead if they want to serve fresh California turkey for Thanksgiving. Farmers of California-grown specialty turkeys such as organic, free-range and heritage birds report they're seeing stronger demand.
Beekeepers seek pollen sources for their colonies
Much of the food we eat depends on bees to pollinate plants, and bees depend on finding pollen to sustain their colonies throughout the year. To improve honeybee health in California, beekeepers, farmers and land managers came together to explore ways to make more land available for bee forage. Beekeepers and bee experts say increased access to both public and privately managed land would benefit bees and aid in land stewardship.
Analysis looks at beef prices
Beef prices have gone up—but not as much as had been feared following the 2012 drought. An analysis by the U.S. Agriculture Department shows consumer beef prices rose about 6 percent last year, a slower rate than the previous year. It turns out the drought forced ranchers to send more animals to market, reducing the expected rises in beef prices. The USDA forecasts an even smaller rise in beef prices this year, at 3 percent.
Produce companies pursue energy efficiency
Moving food from the farm to the market requires energy, and produce companies continue to look for ways to save. A sustainability program for produce businesses says several have made significant improvements. For example, one California company consolidated several facilities in one place, saving 300,000 truck miles a year hauling food from the field to coolers. Others have invested in water-efficiency and zero-waste programs.