Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» May 10, 2006 «
Strawberry production continues to lag behind last year's record pace, as farmers try to make up for weeks of cool, rainy weather. The California Strawberry Commission says growers have shipped slightly more than 440 million pounds of berries so far this year. That's off about 12 percent from the same period a year ago. Despite the slow start, the commission says California could still set new strawberry-production records this year.
Unlike their counterparts who measure snow in the Sierra Nevada, forecasters who predict runoff in the Colorado River basin have had to lower their expectations the past month. A federal agency reduced its forecast for Colorado River runoff to about 87 percent of average. States who use Colorado River water ... including California ... will receive their base allocations this year. The region is still recovering from a five-year drought that prevailed for most of this decade.
A wave of positive publicity for ethanol heartens California's producers of the crop-based fuel. Reports about how Brazil has nearly eliminated oil imports by developing ethanol production have focused on the benefits of ethanol. And those reports have come at a time when gasoline prices in the U.S. have soared. Several new ethanol-producing facilities are planned for California, and one large plant opened last fall in Goshen.
In the midst of a challenging year for asparagus farmers, the government has announced plans to buy up to 4 million pounds of frozen or canned asparagus. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Tuesday) it will provide the asparagus to food programs for schools and the elderly. California farmers have been fighting poor weather for much of the early spring, but now see asparagus volume rise as a result of sunny and warm weather. On-farm prices have dropped as the volume grows.Top