Food & Farm News
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Energy costs could rise due to drought
It’s another impact from the California drought: With reservoir levels dropping, utility companies say their hydroelectric facilities won’t generate as much power this summer. The companies say they expect to have enough power available from other sources, but that electricity prices could rise. That’s because companies have to buy more replacement power on the open market, which generally costs more than hydroelectricity.
Drought affects farmers markets
On the surface, the offerings at California farmers markets might not appear too different as a result of the drought, but farmers who sell at the markets say water shortages have caused a number of impacts. In some cases, farmers have changed the crops they plant or reduced plantings. In others, they have had to raise prices to offset rising water costs. In addition, warm, clear weather for much of the winter and spring altered the timing of many harvests.
Rural roads need attention, study says
Driving on California’s rural roads can be scenic, but a new study indicates you might also find a few potholes along the way. The report found that 15 percent of California rural roads have poor pavement, and that accident and fatality rates on rural roads are much higher than for other California roads. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week on a plan to keep the federal Highway Trust Fund solvent.
Sacramento to host cheese conference
Billed as the largest competition of its kind, the American Cheese Society will hold its annual judging as part of a four-day conference in Sacramento next week. The society says it expects more than 1,800 entries in the competition. Nearly 1,000 leaders in the cheese business will participate in the conference, which the society says will reflect the growth of artisan and specialty cheese markets.