Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 1, 2009 «
The House Resources Committee heard about the drought impacting the California's economy Tuesday at a Washington D.C. hearing. Members were urged to take action to provide both temporary and long term solutions to the state's water needs. A bill to temporarily suspend portions of the endangered species act was proposed as one short term solution. Committee members heard that unemployment is as high as 50 percent in some San Joaquin Valley towns and prices for farmland are declining.
Spring lettuce harvest has shifted to the Huron area in western Fresno County. Normally 90 percent of the lettuce in the country comes from this region each spring and fall between harvests in Imperial-Yuma and the Salinas Valley. However, this spring slightly more than 5,300 acres have been planted. The shortage of irrigation water made it impossible to plant any more. It's not clear how this may impact the price or availability of lettuce during the next month.
Tuesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the purchase of walnuts as part of the School Lunch Buy program. It is the first time in several years that walnuts have been included in that program. At the same time, research scientists announced additional health benefits from walnuts. A Tufts University study shows eating moderate amounts of walnuts may help older individuals retain memory and improve performance on tasks requiring motor and behavior skills. California produces 99 percent of the walnuts grown in the U.S.
California honey production in 2008 was 35 percent above the 2007 mark. A federal government report says more than 18 million pounds was produced. At 360,000, the number of bee colonies was up 6 percent from the previous year. Price honey producers earn was also higher at $1.41 or 31 percent more than in 2008. California continues to rank third in honey production behind North and South Dakota.Top