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Audio ActualityCalifornia farmers and ranchers hopes for the 2007 farm bill
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» August 10, 2005 «
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns will be in Fresno Friday to hear what California farmers and ranchers would like to see in the 2007 farm bill. Golden State farm leaders plan to stress how unique California agriculture is among the 50 states. The 250 different crops grown here have often been ignored in previous farm legislation. The leaders hope conservation programs and other issues can be adopted so they are friendly to California farmers and ranchers.
Consumer demand for beef remained steady in the first half of this year, according to the California Beef Council. Fewer Americans are on the low carb diet, but beef producers are pleased consumers continue to enjoy beef. Demand for beef jumped 25 percent since 1998, so a flattening of demand was somewhat anticipated. Cattle prices usually soften in August, and this year the decline thus far has been less than usual.
By spraying potassium on melons as they grow in the field, the fruit increases its beta-carotene and vitamin C content. That˜s what agricultural researchers found as they experimentally tried to increase melon nutrient content. The potassium formulation used in the study is relatively simple, safe and inexpensive and its hoped growers will adopt the new procedure. Americans consume an average of 30 pounds of melon each year, and American farmers are the world˜s leading producers of the fruit.
Hot weather is slowing the maturing process of peaches, plums and nectarines, permitting farmers to efficiently harvest their fruit. Growers are scheduling workers to pick early in the day avoiding the hottest times. The crop size is smaller than average making two successive years of smaller yields. The California Tree Fruit Agreement says export demand has been strong, and growers have been getting good prices. But, with lower volumes the question of how profitable the year may be remains unanswered.
On the Calendar:
It's a big day for fair openings, as four county fairs start today (Wednesday): The Napa Town and Country Fair in Napa, the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley, the Plumas/Sierra County Fair in Quincy and the Siskiyou Golden Fair in Yreka.