Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityComments about estate tax reform and the Farm Bureau trip to Washington, D.C.
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» September 22, 2010 «
Rice harvest is off to a slow start. Only a few farmers are harvesting the early varieties. Cooler-than-average weather has slowed crop development. However, a farm advisor said the cool nights would help to enhance the quality of the rice. There is concern about early rains. Many fields were just blossoming about September 1, and it takes 40 to 50 days after that for the rice to mature for harvest. More farmers are expected to start harvesting next week.
Many of the winter vegetables consumers buy come from the growing area that includes the Imperial Valley and nearby Yuma, Arizona. Farmers there are now preparing their fields for planting those crops so they are ready to harvest when other growing areas end their seasons. Temperatures have continued in the 100-degree range, so farmers are waiting for cooler weather before they start planting broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, lettuce and other vegetables for the winter market.
Three California farmers whose farms or ranches have been in their families for more than a century were part of a Farm Bureau delegation to Washington, D.C., where they sought congressional support for estate tax reform. Legislation has been introduced that would exempt farms and ranches from the estate tax as long as they remain in agricultural production. The farmers and ranchers spoke to members of Congress and senators who serve on committees that are now considering estate tax reform.
Winegrape growers are concerned about how late their crop is developing. Cool weather has slowed the sugar level development in grapes, and the crop is two weeks to a month later than average. Rain last weekend didn't cause significant damage, but it reminds farmers that additional storms could. As November approaches, farmers' concerns about rain and frost increase. The grapes have the promise of a great vintage if they can be picked before winter weather arrives.Top