Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityLower farm production costs and the effect on food prices
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» December 15, 2008 «
Farm input costs for fuel have dropped in recent months; fertilizer prices haven't dropped as much at retail levels. A Farm Bureau economist says retailers bought fertilizer in quantity so they would have adequate supplies, but after they did, the wholesale fertilizer price dropped. It will be awhile before they work through the high-priced supplies. However, declines in production costs won't directly lower food costs. Farmers may produce more, which could lower retail prices slightly in the long run.
California navel oranges for decades have been a favorite stocking stuffer at Christmas, especially in the Midwest. Sunkist Growers says demand for navel oranges is still good and is increasing every week as we approach Christmas. But now there is competition from various easy-peal mandarins such as Clementines. The cooperative says consumers continue to enjoy all types of citrus fruit during the holiday season and there are adequate supplies available in retail stores.
A California company has announced it is selling seeds for switchgrass. Ceres Inc. plans online sales direct to farmers. The tall-growing, perennial grass has been shown to provide more needed compounds for ethanol than corn. It also requires less water and fertilizer to produce a crop. The company says it expects most early sales to bioenergy companies, but wants to also provide seeds to farmers wishing to gain experience with the crop as the market for biomass develops.
There is renewed interest in home food preservation, according to the University of California Cooperative Extension Service. Consumers fight high food prices by buying items on sale and then preserving them for future use. To provide direction on how to preserve food safely, the Master Food Preserver program has been established in several counties. San Bernardino, El Dorado and Sacramento counties are among those with active programs.Top