Food & Farm News
» February 27, 2013 «
A new video series called Growing California introduces viewers to farmers and ranchers across the state. A recent episode, available online, features Salvador Vasquez of Third Generation Berry Farm on the Central Coast. Vasquez describes his family's history and how he grew up with an appreciation of farming, taking on more responsibilities as he became an adult. He now grows raspberries and manages hundreds of employees during the harvest season.
Ranchers say that despite strong demand for beef, dry rangeland conditions have dimmed their outlook for the year. Unless California sees another “Miracle March” with ample rainfall, the feed available for cattle will dwindle quickly, and the cost to buy or rent additional land is already high. Typically, ranchers move cattle from winter pastures to summer pastures at the end of March or April, but the dry spell has led many to move cattle early.
Recent cold and windy weather makes the work of pollinators more difficult, according to a report from an almond growers group. Bees and other insects are less likely to pollinate when the temperatures are down, the wind is high and weather turns overcast. With trees now blooming around the state, the coming weeks are critical for almonds and other orchard crops to be pollinated, and farmers keep a close eye on the bees' progress.
Food prices at the grocery store are expected to rise 3 or 4 percent this year, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. However, economists with the department say the price of food eaten in restaurants or other places outside the home is expected to rise only about 2 percent. The overall price increase is attributed to last year's drought and ripple effects felt throughout the food production chain, with dairy and meat products affected the most.Top