Food & Farm News
» June 6, 2012 «
Strong winds that blew through the Central Valley this week have farmers checking their orchards for effects on tree fruit. Growers say plums, nectarines and apricots are especially susceptible to wind damage, including scarring. The scars decrease the value of the fruit, sometimes making it difficult for farmers to find markets for it. Farmers are also evaluating any damage from rain that followed the wind.
Three California counties have been declared agricultural disasters because of losses caused by ongoing drought. The declaration allows affected farmers and ranchers in Alameda, Marin and Tehama counties to apply for low-interest loans and other disaster assistance. Farmers in neighboring counties may also apply. In the latest crop report, 40 percent of the state's pasture land rated in poor or very poor condition.
The partial removal of a pest quarantine means Mexico will now accept table grapes and tree fruit grown in four California counties, without requiring additional treatments. That's good news for farmers, who will have an easier time selling their fruit to an important market. The US Agriculture Department says the European grapevine moth has been eradicated from Fresno, Mendocino, Merced, and San Joaquin counties. Six other counties remain under quarantine.
Farm and food programs will be up for debate this week as the US Senate discusses new federal farm legislation. California farmers will watch closely discussions involving nutrition programs, conservation and invasive pest eradication. California farm groups have come together to encourage the Senate to support air quality programs that help farmers with projects to meet federal, state and local air regulations.
In recognition of California's position as the nation's top dairy state, Governor Brown has proclaimed June as “Real California Milk Month.” The California Milk Advisory Board is celebrating by providing consumers with 30 days' worth of tips, facts and recipes that showcase dairy ingredients, such as California Almond Butter Popcorn. California dairy farms sold more than 41 billion pounds of milk last year.Top