Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» January 10, 2007 «
With weather forecasters predicting frosty nights this week, California citrus farmers are mobilizing to protect their fruit. Forecasts indicate temperatures could dip into the mid-20s. Navel oranges can withstand temperatures as low as 26 degrees at this time of year, for short durations. Farmers have had crews picking fruit ahead of the cold, so it's safe in storage. Citrus growers also use wind machines or irrigation to protect their fruit from the cold.
Snow levels in the Sierra have been somewhat skimpy to start the season, but the snowpack along the California-Oregon border looks better. Sensors in the Klamath Basin show a snowpack at about 105 percent of average. Weather forecasts indicate additional snow could fall today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday). Klamath Basin farmers hope for ample snow, to ease pressure on water supplies in the region.
It could be an unpredictable three or four years for corn farmers and for livestock producers who need corn to feed their animals. An explosion in ethanol production has boosted corn demand and prices. The chief economist for the U.S. Agriculture Department, Keith Collins, told the American Farm Bureau convention that both ethanol manufacturers and livestock producers face a period of adjustment. Collins said he expects the market to straighten out the situation over time.
They have the best climate in the nation for growing beans, but California farmers have been reducing their acreage. Farmers who grow black beans, pinto beans, navy beans and other varieties say they're finding it harder to compete with their counterparts in other states. Because everything from land prices to taxes to labor costs are higher here, bean farmers have been planting less ... and weather further cut bean production last year.Top