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» January 26, 2005 «
Strong demand for California almonds boosted the on-farm value of the crop to $2 billion last year, according to a new report. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Tuesday) that average farm prices for almonds rose nearly 30 percent in the past year. The preliminary government report also said that California pistachio farmers saw both production and prices recover during 2004.
Cooperative weather allowed California cotton farmers to establish record crop yields last year. The California Agricultural Statistics Service has calculated that the state's farmers produced more than 1,500 pounds of cotton per acre. The record yields came despite mid-October rains that slowed harvest for a time. The service says some cotton growers have already prepared their fields for spring planting.
Full feed deliveries have resumed at California poultry farms, after heavy January storms disrupted train service. The state's 20 million chickens eat 4 million pounds of feed each day, and much of the grain arrives via rail from the Midwest. Landslides blocked the Union Pacific Railroad's main lines into Southern California, forcing the railroad temporarily to reroute feed shipments to the region's poultry farms. Normal service has resumed now.
An idea that started with a Fresno County raisin-grape grower has been adopted as policy by the American Farm Bureau. Delegates to the Farm Bureau's annual meeting urged local, state and federal governments to view agriculture as a "strategic resource." The California Farm Bureau adopted a similar policy last month. Fresno County farmer Alan Kasparian says agriculture should be regarded as vital to national security.Top