Food & Farm News
» September 28, 2011 «
As their peak season approaches, California farmers say they're pleased with how the pumpkin crop is shaping up. While other states have reported disappointing quality and quantity of pumpkins, California farmers say they were able to work around rain during the planting season and have set themselves up for a good harvest. Farmers describe the quality of pumpkins in the Central Valley as “excellent,” and say supplies should be on par with previous years' totals.
Drought has hurt cotton production in many parts of the nation, but California's cotton crop could be up nearly 50 percent from last year's total. Farmers in the Central Valley planted more cotton this year, spurred by high demand, and their crops have avoided the punishing weather that has hurt yields elsewhere. The latest federal crop weather report said recent warm weather helped California cotton develop, with the quality of the crop rated mostly good to excellent.
The wine business may feel the squeeze of a short supply of grapes. Surveys conducted by the University of California, Davis, noted that winegrape growers remain reluctant to expand vineyards or replace old vines. Damage caused by frost this year may further tighten grape supplies. Even so, the survey said consumers will continue to see discounted wine prices, because, wineries say, shoppers are still closely watching their budgets.
As the economy trudges through tough times, people in the rodeo business report that they are holding on and trying to adapt to the challenges of higher fuel costs and fans' tighter wallets. Large events consistently draw big crowds and television audiences, but smaller rodeos face challenges as competitors, animal owners and fans struggle with travel costs. Those staying in the business cite tradition and a love of the sport as their motivation.Top