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» January 29, 2009 «
Researchers in California are conducting an economic study to determine the impact of agritourism on farms and ranches and local economies. It's believed the first study of its kind done in California. Similar studies in Hawaii, New York and New Jersey confirmed the positive significance of agritourism on local economies. The data collected will help identify major challenges faced by agritourism business owners so those needs can be addressed.
Speakers yesterday at the annual Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento generally provided optimism for the long-term outlook for the wine sector. Winegrape supply and demand are almost at equilibrium, and export sales look bright. However, short term farmers are concerned about water availability, contracts from wineries not providing sufficient economic return and the governor's proposed state excise tax, which could impact farmers' recovery from recent low prices by increasing production costs.
Members of the Young Farmers and Ranchers group will be handing out samples of locally grown foods this Saturday. Grocery store customers in Merced and Atwater can sample figs, tomatoes, almonds and dairy products, all of which are produced by Merced County farmers. They chose Saturday as shoppers prepare for Super Bowl Sunday. The farmers want to call attention to what they raise in the county and also make consumers aware that the average American earns enough by February 15 to pay for their food for the entire year.
Imagine farmers being able to use their computers to determine how much irrigation water to apply to their crops. That may soon be possible, according to agricultural research scientists. They say satellite imagery of farm fields can determine from the leaves of the plants how much water they've used. By sending that data to farm computers, growers would know exactly how much water plants needed.Top