Food & Farm News
July 1, 2015
Agricultural lender assesses drought impact
Drought damage to California farms, ranches and agricultural businesses will worsen in 2015, according to an assessment by the cooperative lender CoBank. Its study says losses in revenue will be concentrated among field crops such as corn, cotton, rice, hay and beans—and that California dairy farms will also be hit hard. The bank says dairies will see feed costs rise “substantially,” while milk prices have dropped.
Acreage drops for many California crops
The impact of drought can be seen in a crop-acreage report issued Tuesday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. It shows sharp acreage declines for a number of California-grown field crops—even when compared to 2014, which was also a drought year. Corn, cotton and sunflowers showed the largest percentage declines in acreage. Rice acreage dropped more than had been predicted in a preliminary report three months earlier.
Fewer peaches to be harvested this summe
Mild winter weather may be partly to blame for an expected cut in California peach production. The U.S. Agriculture Department says it expects an 8 percent decline in the state’s peach crop, affecting both fresh and canning peaches equally. A lack of chilling hours last winter may have reduced California peach production this summer, the report said, but larger supplies from other states will make up some of the difference.
Survey checks holiday food prices
Foods that could be used as part of a traditional Fourth of July cookout cost a bit less this year, according to an annual survey by the American Farm Bureau. The survey shows the cost for a menu of cookout items declined 3 percent, compared to a year ago. Although beef prices continue to rise, the Farm Bureau survey says prices for other meats have declined, and the cost of dairy products has also come down.