Food & Farm News
» February 6, 2013 «
Many Americans interested in starting a farm or ranch find themselves working multiple jobs to save up enough money to purchase their own land. According to the US Agriculture Department, the number of beginning farmers and ranchers has declined over the past two decades, with access to land and capital noted as the biggest challenges for starting a new farm. To help more new farmers succeed, the agriculture department has launched a microloan program for beginning farmers.
The annual pageantry of millions of blossoms is about to begin in the Central Valley. The USDA reports that buds are beginning to swell on almond trees and the bloom is expected to start in the coming weeks. Fresno County and other areas host festivals, bike rides and runs in celebration of the beautiful scenery. The bloom typically begins in mid-February in almond orchards and continues for other fruit and nut trees through March.
Thousands of visitors and exhibitors from across the world are in California this month for agricultural trade shows. Right now the Colusa Farm Show is taking place in Northern California, and next week the International Agri-Center in Tulare will host the World Ag Expo. Farm shows gather the latest in farming and ranching technology and techniques to one location. The events also include seminars, food booths and fundraisers.
Hay and grain growers in Northern California say that the recent run of dry weather has given them an opportunity to begin preparing fields for planting. Often at this time of year hay growers are kept indoors by wet and foggy weather, limiting activities to equipment maintenance. Farmers say that while the dry weather entices them to start planting early, they may hold off until later this month to avoid the crop ripening too early and encountering rain during the harvest.Top