Food & Farm News
November 27, 2013
New vineyards remain in demand
Hoping not to have too much of a good thing, farmers plan to plant new winegrape vineyards throughout California this winter. Plant nurseries report strong demand for young vines, and vineyard developers say they’re being contacted by farmers earlier than usual this season to plant new grape acreage. People in the wine business say they believe new plantings can be added without creating an oversupply of grapes for winemaking.
Wine regions feature different microbe populations
When planting vineyards, farmers may soon have a new factor to think about. In addition to the soil, climate and geography, farmers might consider the local population of microbes. A study from UC Davis says different grape-growing regions have different patterns of bacteria and fungi. By knowing more about the local microbes, the study says, farmers might be able to manage their vineyards better. It’s not known whether the microbes affect grape flavor.
Pecans benefit from broader popularity
They’re popular as a part of traditional holiday meals and as ingredients in other foods, and now demand is broadening for pecans. Farmers and marketers say pecans have become more popular as a snack item, due to their heart-healthy benefits. Pecans remain a relatively small crop in California, but farmers say more trees are being planted each year. Most of the pecans grown here are exported, mainly to China.
Groups will help vets become farmers
To help military veterans break into farming, agricultural and veterans groups have formed a partnership to provide vets with the resources they need. The American Farm Bureau Federation and the Farmer Veteran Coalition say they will work together to train beginning farmers, make equipment available to veteran farmers and help them find opportunities in agriculture. The groups said this week they have created a resource guide with information on how the partnership will operate.