Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow cattle ranches are coping with dry rangeland
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» July 5, 2007 «
Speaking about the need to pass agricultural legislation, Senator Diane Feinstein said she thinks the next step is to move AgJOBS now that the immigration bill has been defeated. The senator says agriculture faces a major crisis as the supply of labor this year is down. Growers may once again lose their crops. To address the issue the senator says she will work with Senator Larry Craig to move AgJOBS legislation as soon as possible.
California range and pastureland continues to deteriorate, according to a federal government report. About 57 percent is in very poor condition and another 38 percent is in poor shape with only five percent in fair condition. Ranchers are selling calves early at lighter weights and culling some cows to cope with the situation. Conditions vary with Southern California ranches generally worse off. But almost all ranchers must haul water and supplemental feed to their cattle.
Organic milk producers in California continue to increase their output to help meet demand, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Organic dairy farmers increased sales more than 19 percent in May, while all California milk production increased only about three percent. The largest sector of the organic milk sales increase is nonfat which increased nearly 40 percent. It takes three years to convert dairy farms from conventional to organic production.
Blueberry harvest in California's Central Valley is about over, according to the California Blueberry Association. However, growers in coastal regions will have fruit available for several more weeks. Production increased this year, but total production numbers won't be available until fall. Overall it was a good year with good yields due to favorable weather and additional acreage coming into production. It's expected production will set a new record.Top