Food & Farm News
September 30, 2015
Lower prices reported in seasonal food survey
An informal survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation showed lower prices for some food items compared to last year. The market survey found that of the 16 food items used to prepare one or more meals, 10 retail prices decreased--including whole milk, which was down 17 percent; bacon, down 11 percent; and apples, down 7 percent.
Irrigating vineyards with winery wastewater
Two studies conducted by scientists at the University of California, Davis, found that under the right conditions, winery wastewater is viable as a water source for irrigating vineyards. The research, which also addressed salinity concerns, reported that the wineries involved in the study were already doing a good job of treating wastewater. The main author said the findings are “applicable to nearly every agricultural system out there.”
Record growth in FFA
FFA provides agricultural education to students across the nation. This year’s FFA student membership increased 3 percent over last year--and since the 2009 school year, membership has increased more than 20 percent. National FFA Alumni membership also increased, as did the number of chapters. California is the second highest FFA membership state behind Texas.
Succulents gain in popularity
Many people think of succulents as desert plants, but they have a broader range and provide many choices for low-maintenance and drought-friendly landscaping. Succulents thrive in lean soils and do especially well in Mediterranean climates such as California--and demand has increased. A growing number of plant nurseries are now specializing in popular and exotic succulents for ornamental gardens and landscapes.