Food & Farm News
» January 13, 2010 «
How consumers feel about the economy influences what they buy at grocery stores and restaurants ... and those shopping patterns affect demand for farmers' crops and commodities. Analysts say consumers have "traded down" in their food purchases, and more people are eating at home. A livestock economist told the American Farm Bureau Annual Meeting this week that consumer demand for meat and poultry products remains the big question facing farmers this year.
The more they look, the more tangerines farmers find in their groves. An updated forecast issued this week increased the estimate of California tangerine production by 17 percent from the previous forecast issued last fall. Analysts say more than half a dozen different types of tangerines, mandarins and tangelos are being harvested now on California farms. But the new forecasts reduced the estimate of grapefruit production from California.
More lettuce fields have been planted in winter growing regions of Southern California and Arizona this season. A new government crop report says farmers increased their acreage of iceberg lettuce for harvest during the winter quarter. California farmers also planted more carrots for winter harvest, though acreage of broccoli, cauliflower and celery will be down slightly. The report says all the winter crops appear to be in good condition.
While an invasive pest lies dormant during the winter, insect experts remain active. They're working to devise a plan to combat the new pest, known as the European grapevine moth. It threatens grapes and other crops in Napa County, where it was first found last year. A technical advisory committee has been working to create a plan to fight the moth, in part by reviewing how Europeans deal with it. Eradication efforts will begin in the spring.Top