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Audio ActualityYoung Farmers and Ranchers second harvest food collections
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» April 21, 2005 «
Reduced asparagus acreage in the delta-growing region in California is causing lighter supplies reaching market, according to the federal market news service. The resulting strong prices are pleasing those farmers with asparagus to sell. Acreage is down to about 22,000 from a high of 36,000 6 years ago. The California Asparagus Commission says acreage runs in a 10-year cycle, and is nearing the low point. Growers have 30,000 pounds of jumbo asparagus ready for the annual festival in Stockton this weekend.
California strawberry production has rebounded from earlier rain that caused slowdowns and is on a record pace. The rain that damaged fruit earlier actually made the plants stronger, and they now are producing record amounts of fruit. As of last Saturday growers had produced 340 million pounds, compared to 313 million pounds a year ago. Although there was no rain last spring, unusual hot weather early in the year slowed production.
California's Young Farmers and Ranchers are again participating in a national contest collecting food for Second Harvest food banks. Last year they collected more than 2 million pounds, which exceeded the food collected by young farmers in the other 49 states. The committee members have set a goal of collecting a million pounds, but hope to exceed that. Contributions are slow now, as only a few crops are being harvested, but the young farmers and ranchers hope donations grow as harvest moves to additional crops.
California fig growers are moving ahead with plans to form a new state marketing order to represent the California fresh fig business. If approved by growers, they would fund the order. It would focus on generic promotion of fresh figs and research. It would seek ways to extend fresh fig shelf life, and urge consumers to include the fruit in their diets. A hearing on the proposed order will be held in the near future.Top