Food & Farm News
April 23, 2014
Studies look at drought, food prices
Food production from California will fall this year due to drought and water shortages, but how much will that affect food prices? Two new reports tackle that question. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s too soon to know, but that the California drought could push food price inflation above the historical average. An Arizona State University study says prices for certain fresh produce items could rise between 6 percent and 34 percent.
Range condition improves a bit
Ranchers who struggled much of this year with lack of forage for their animals have now found some relief. Due to spring rains, pasture conditions have improved in parts of the state. But range conditions remain challenging, and ranchers worry about being able to grow enough forage for summer. Some ranchers may need to reduce their herds further, in order to stretch supplies due to rising costs for feed and water.
Food banks benefit from ‘selfies’
Take a selfie, help a food bank. People can help support California food banks by taking a “selfie” photo that includes the California Grown logo or anything grown in California. Partners in the California Grown marketing campaign say they will donate a pound of food to a food bank for each photo with the hashtag #cagrown posted on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The campaign will continue through the end of October.
Funding helps school kitchens
Schools in California will compete for nearly $1.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to invest in new kitchen equipment. USDA says the grants will help schools to meet updated nutrition standards, citing a report that many school districts need help to update kitchen equipment. States will give priority to schools where half or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-cost meals.