Food & Farm News
October 9, 2013
Farmers gauge effects of shutdown
Many California farmers and ranchers appear to be taking a “wait and see” approach to the federal government shutdown. Government agencies have suspended timber harvests in national forests and halted market reports. Farmers will see delays in conservation and marketing programs, among other services. Otherwise, farm groups say, the impact on California farmers may depend on how long the impasse continues.
Law establishes CSA guidelines
If you regularly have a box of produce delivered to you from a local farm, you're participating in a form of community-supported agriculture. CSA operations have become increasingly popular, and a new state law aims to benefit both farmers and their customers. The law creates a new oversight system for CSAs, including guidelines on food handling and food safety, and was supported by a number of farm groups.
Online tool helps nurseries
As nurseries buy and sell plants within California, they want to make sure the plants don't carry pests or diseases. Now, they have additional online help from a tool created by the University of California. The database lists pests and diseases for a nursery's home county, and for counties where the nursery may buy or sell plants. The website also helps nursery owners research best practices for preventing plant pests and diseases.
Universities focus on food
Food has become a topic of growing interest for shoppers, readers, television viewers—and universities. At least two California campuses have launched new initiatives to study food and influence food policy. The Berkeley Food Institute at the University of California says it wants to help "achieve transformation" in food and agriculture. At UC Davis, the new World Food Center will tackle what the university calls "tough global issues related to food."