Food & Farm News
February 5, 2014
Farm bill provides resources for California farmers and ranchers
The new federal farm bill that gained final congressional approval Tuesday includes programs to help farmers and ranchers through drought and other emergencies. The California Farm Bureau urged government agencies to implement the programs as quickly as possible. California farmers welcomed Senate passage of the final farm bill, which also includes a variety of conservation, research, marketing and food-assistance programs.
New funds available for agricultural conservation investments
To help farmers and ranchers during drought, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Tuesday it will offer additional resources to protect farmland. The $20 million in conservation funding will help agricultural operators conserve water and stabilize fallowed cropland. The program is intended to benefit both crop land and grazing land that has suffered from lack of water.
Retailers look to offer more consumer-friendly produce
Hoping to make fresh vegetables more convenient, produce retailers have asked seed companies to develop varieties that work well for fresh-cut products. Retailers also want seed companies to concentrate on vegetables with improved flavor and longer shelf life. With the continued rebound of fresh vegetable production and of the economy, consumers are expected to be willing to increase consumption of healthy produce products.
Research shows potatoes can withstand climate change pressures
Working to respond to global climate change, research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests potato plants respond well to elevated carbon dioxide levels and erratic rainfall patterns. The research evaluated effects of short-term drought cycles at both current and elevated carbon dioxide levels. Averaged across all drought treatments, potato tuber yield was greater from plants growing under elevated carbon dioxide levels.