Food & Farm News
» February 8, 2012 «
About 20 percent of California wheat farmers rely solely on rain to water their fields … and those farmers have been hit hard by the dry winter. Even wheat farmers who have access to irrigation might face problems, as some water districts say they may cut deliveries if weather stays dry. The California Wheat Commission says the crop is not as far along as it should be by this date. But the commission says prospects could improve if substantial rains come soon.
February typically marks the beginning of the annual blossom showcase in California orchards. A University of California farm advisor says he has not seen many almond blooms yet in Northern California, but notes that buds are forming on schedule. Crop reports show that farmers are irrigating, pruning and planting orchards, just as some blooms begin to appear on fruit trees such as peaches and plums. Bloom-time weather helps determine how large a crop the trees will produce.
California maintains its position as the nation's dominant vegetable producer, according to a US Agriculture Department summary of last year's crops. The USDA says California farms produced half the vegetables grown in the United States. Overall, California's fresh vegetable production declined 1 percent compared to the previous year. Crops that saw increased production included artichokes, carrots, celery, chili peppers and tomatoes.
Supporters of a farm-themed special-interest license plate are encouraging people to sign up for the plates before an early April deadline. The design of the “Ag Plate” celebrates California production of food, fiber, fuel and flora. Proceeds from the sale of the plates would support agricultural education, including career training and Future Farmers of America. Supporters need to attract 7,500 paid pledges to assure production of the plates.Top