Food & Farm News
July 02, 2014
Survey tracks costs of holiday picnic
At less than $6 a person, food for a Fourth of July picnic remains affordable, according to a survey from the American Farm Bureau. Food for a summer picnic for 10 people averaged $58.72 in the national survey, up 5 percent from last year. The biggest price increases came from meat and cheese. Farm Bureau attributes the rise in meat prices to historically small cattle herds and a drop in the number of hog farmers.
Strawberry farms provide opportunities for immigrants
For some immigrants, the path to the American Dream is paved by strawberries, according to a report from the California Strawberry Commission. The report estimates two-thirds of California strawberry farmers are of Mexican-American descent, with a quarter of those farmers starting as field workers. Strawberry farming provides “unique characteristics” that help small farmers succeed, the report says, such as a nearly year-round harvest possible from a small amount of land.
California tops flower market
When it comes to floriculture, California remains on top. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the value of California flower sales rose 3 percent in 2013, to $1.13 billion. An increase in the value of potted flowering plants overcame a slight decline in cut flowers. The top cut flowers include lilies, daisies, roses and chrysanthemums. The top potted flowers include orchids, roses and poinsettias.
International agreement aims at Medflies
To keep destructive fruit flies from invading California and other parts of the nation, the United States has announced a new agreement with Mexico and Guatemala, aimed at reducing fruit fly populations. The Mediterranean fruit fly threatens more than 200 fruits and vegetables, and California releases sterile Medflies in the Los Angeles area to prevent infestations. The new agreement will establish additional efforts to detect, control and eradicate flies in the three nations.