Food & Farm News
» October 5, 2011 «
The rain predicted for much of California this week will challenge farmers who have seen harvests slowed by unseasonably cool weather this year. Rain will delay harvests for crops including grapes, tomatoes, rice, almonds and many others. Whether it causes crop damage depends on how much rain falls, and on the weather that follows the rain. Farmers say cool, breezy weather after the rain would reduce the threat of crop damage.
Two-dozen California agricultural organizations have urged the state's congressional delegation to support trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. President Obama submitted the agreements to Congress this week. The farm groups say the agreements will remove barriers to exports of California farm goods, and that additional farm exports to the three nations will “add much-needed jobs to the state's economy.”
Expect to see more pears on the market this season. Forecasters predict a larger pear crop nationwide, with California's pear production rising about 12 percent. A crop report says pear supplies will be higher despite cool, wet spring weather and a delayed harvest in many pear-producing regions. With improved supplies, the U.S. Agriculture Department forecasts that average pear consumption will rise to about 3 pounds per person.
People who participate in federal food programs will benefit from the availability of pistachios for the first time. The American Pistachio Growers organization announced that the U.S. Agriculture Department will buy more than 6 million pounds of pistachios, to be distributed through its food nutrition assistance programs. The growers group says pistachios represent a plant-based source of protein and provide other nutrients, including fiber and potassium.Top