Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» January 14, 2005 «
Bitter cold has replaced snowstorms in the Sierra and Northeastern California, bringing challenges for beef cattle and the ranchers who care for them. Ranchers in the Susanville area say temperatures have dropped as low as 17 below zero this week. Cattle tolerate the cold, but need as much as 20 percent more food to maintain their body heat. Ranchers must haul hay to their cattle, which often means plowing snow off of roads to make them passable for tractors.
After being delayed almost two weeks by wet weather, farmers resumed picking navel oranges in the Central Valley yesterday (Thursday). The orange harvest pauses during rain because wet fruit can bruise easily. However, consumers didn't notice the picking hiatus as growers had sufficient fruit in cold storage to meet demand. Government forecasters said yesterday the California orange crop should be 16 percent larger than last season's.
Farm security has become a higher priority for federal agencies, but officials say individual farmers and ranchers must consider security a key component of their business. Representatives of the U.S. Homeland Security and Agriculture departments say they have sharpened their focus on agricultural risks from terrorism or natural disasters. Speaking at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting, they urged farmers to finalize individual security plans.
The final numbers confirm that California strawberry growers established a new production record last year. They marketed nearly 118 million trays, up about 3 percent from the previous year. The California Strawberry Commission, which tracks strawberry sales, says farmers plan to plant about the same acreage this year. Rain has often interrupted the early 2005 strawberry crop, but growers say a return of dry weather will allow production to resume.Top