Food & Farm News
» July 25, 2005 «
With a vote expected in the House of Representatives as soon as this week, California farm groups have been contacting the state's members to urge passage of the Central America Free Trade Agreement. A California Farm Bureau spokeswoman says the agreement would allow California farmers greater access to consumers in Central American nations. She says a number of farm organizations have stressed that during contacts with California members of Congress.
Americans may eat record amounts of a couple of fresh vegetables this year. Government analysts say per-person consumption of leaf and romaine lettuce, and of sweet corn, may each break records that were set last year. California dominates domestic production of leaf and romaine lettuce, and ranks a close second to Florida in sweet corn. Analysts also predict increased consumption of processed tomato products, because of lower prices and strong employment.
Growers of the state's top orchard crop expect to begin harvesting in a couple of weeks. Almond harvest typically starts around August 1st, but farmers with early varieties say this year's harvest will likely begin about a week later. The hulls around early-maturing almonds are beginning to split, indicating that the nuts are maturing. Forecasters predict this year's almond crop will be about 15 percent smaller than last year's.
Child-nutrition programs and other government food-assistance efforts will receive an infusion of fruit. The U.S. Agriculture Department announced (Friday) it will buy up to 68 million pounds of canned peaches and mixed fruit. The U.S.D.A will channel the fruit it buys into federal food programs for needy people. The agency purchased more than 1 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables last year.Top