Food & Farm News
» March 28, 2012 «
The Easter and Passover holidays are popular times for families to purchase lamb and mutton. A forecast published by the US Agriculture Department says sheep ranchers prepare for the holiday season by increasing herd sizes and timing the sale of sheep to coincide with consumer demand. The forecast also notes that prices have been favorable for consumers and are expected to remain so through the holidays.
Another common springtime purchase is lilies. Nearly all Easter lilies sold in the United States get their start on a 10-mile stretch along the California-Oregon border. As the holiday approaches, farmers are busy shipping the flowers to markets across the country. Growing Easter lilies is a long process. Not until the end of the bulb's third season is it brought into a climate-controlled greenhouse, where it is potted and cultivated to bloom just in time for the holiday.
Even through the economic downturn, farmers have continued to plant more acres of organic crops. The US Agriculture Department maintains a database of organic farms and recent updates show that throughout the country, the number of organic farms increased by three percent last year. California leads the nation with more than 38-hundred organic farms, providing the bulk of the country's organic products.
Do you ever wonder how much of the money you spend for food goes back to the farm? Updated information from the US Agriculture Department says about 14 cents of each dollar that an American spends on food goes back to the farm. The rest, nearly 86 cents, goes toward marketing costs such as processing, packaging and transportation. The USDA updates the figures annually, and says the farm share has decreased in the past couple of years.Top