Food & Farm News
February 19, 2014
Nurseries prepare for dry year
After slowly recovering from the recession, nurseries now brace for the impact the drought will have on the ornamental plant business. Warm winter weather has boosted sales for now, and nurseries are already seeing a shift to drought-tolerant ground cover and succulents. Many nursery owners were hit hard in previous droughts and worry about a similar fate as water districts limit or ban outdoor watering.
Drought workshops to be held
At meetings around the state, farmers, ranchers and their employees will gather to learn what resources may be available to help them through the drought. The sessions began Tuesday night in Palo Cedro. They provide information on state and federal programs to help farmers with water efficiency, soil conservation and crop insurance, as well as programs to help farm employees. Future workshops will be held in Salinas, Fresno, Camarillo and Escondido.
Promotions motivate avocado purchases
Short-term discounts on avocados can bring longer-term sales increases, according to a report from the Hass Avocado Board. Shoppers react well to promotional discounts, especially on large avocados. The report said retailers saw avocado sales more than double when offering a 45 percent discount. When prices increased later, the report said, shoppers did not reduce their purchases at the same rate.
Food donations set record
Farmers and ranchers in the U.S. donated a record 32 million pounds of food as part of the annual “Harvest for All” program. The program is a partnership between the American Farm Bureau and Feeding America, with Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers members leading the effort. About one-third of the total food donations, 11 million pounds, were collected by Young Farmers and Ranchers in California.