Food & Farm News
» October 24, 2012 «
The hardiness of cabernet saugivnon winegrapes came in handy this week, as rain hit North Coast vineyards. The rain held off until most winegrapes had already been harvested, and the cabernet grapes still on vines withstand rain better than other varieties. Grape grower groups say an anticipated warming trend should help the grapes, as long as humidity stays low and it does not rain over the weekend as the harvest continues.
For the first time, almonds have surpassed grapes as California's number-two farm commodity. The University of California notes that the almond crop moved up to second in value in 2011 rankings, behind milk. The popularity of almonds has prompted farmers to plant more, but UC explains that farmers have also nearly doubled the amount of almonds they can produce on each acre of land, thanks to improved irrigation, mechanization and pest-control methods.
More than 40 percent of sales of organic agricultural products come from California farms, according to a report by the U.S. Agriculture Department. California is home to almost 1,900 certified organic farms, the highest figure in the nation. USDA says it plans to learn more about all of the nation's organic farms in the next Census of Agriculture, which is gathered every five years, so it can identify organic production trends.
Two county Farm Bureaus in California have received national recognition for outstanding activities. The Butte County Farm Bureau earned an American Farm Bureau Federation County Activity of Excellence award for its “Agribee,” a spelling bee that uses farming terms to teach schoolchildren about agriculture. The San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation also earned an Activity of Excellence award for hosting health and safety training sessions for farmers and farm employees.Top