Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityA farmer's comments about why he's planting more corn
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» April 2, 2007 «
A record corn crop could sprout in California this year. A government survey (released Friday) shows that the state's farmers plan to plant 100,000 more acres of corn, up 19 percent from last year. The 620,000 acres of corn would be the most since California started keeping records in 1926. Corn prices have been driven higher by demand for ethanol, and dairy farmers will plant more to offset rising feed prices.
Rising wheat prices will lead to a large increase in California wheat acreage. A "prospective plantings" report shows California farmers have seeded 22 percent more winter wheat this year than they did a year ago. Acreage will increase even more sharply for durum wheat, the kind used mainly for making pasta. Plantings of durum wheat will rise 43 percent from last year.
Cleanup continues from the storm that blew through Southern California last week. The storm provided little rain, but a lot of wind. That knocked avocados off of trees, but farmers say the avocados that dropped were ones that had already been damaged by the mid-January freeze. The wind may also have caused minor scarring to fruit. Central Valley farmers say the strong winds blew down a few trees, but that losses were small.
A new assessment of freeze damage to the valencia orange crop has added $16 million to the crop-loss figure in Fresno County. An updated report places total freeze damage there at nearly $128 million. Overall damage to California crops from the freeze now totals more than $1.4 billion. Senator Dianne Feinstein will get a firsthand view of damage to citrus fruit when she visits a Tulare County packinghouse today (Monday).Top