Food & Farm News
October 7, 2015
CVP reservoirs hold less water
Coming off what they call a “very difficult” water year, operators of the federal Central Valley Project say water storage in six key reservoirs stands at less than half of average. The CVP began its new water year on October 1, and said its reservoirs hold about 6 percent less water than at the same time a year ago. Even so, the storage is nearly twice what the system’s reservoirs held after the driest year on record, 1977.
Recovery becomes priority in wildfire areas
In areas hit by the Valley and Butte wildfires, the focus has turned to recovery, with people in the hardest-hit regions of Lake and Calaveras counties still trying to tally damage. For example, the Lake County Farm Bureau says people there are working to get food and water to displaced livestock. Many large animals were evacuated before the fires reached them, but in both fire zones, ranchers will need to replace fencing and other structures that burned.
Pistachio production will be smaller than expected
A combination of forces has reduced California pistachio production this year. Farmers say pistachio trees didn’t get enough chilling temperatures during the winter. That, combined with warm weather at bloom and the ongoing drought, means a smaller-than-expected pistachio crop. In some orchards, growers report problems with “blanking,” where shells on the trees contain no nuts inside them.
Forecast sees fewer apples on the market
You may end up paying more for apples than you did a year ago. The U.S. Agriculture Department estimates apple production nationwide will be down 11 percent compared to last year. It estimates the California apple crop will be down 8 percent. California ranks fifth in the nation in apple production. In the top apple-growing state—Washington—production could be down 14 percent from last year’s record crop.