Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityWhy on-farm milk prices may stay relatively high into next year
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» August 28, 2007 «
With "robust demand" for milk expected to continue into 2008, analysts predict that on-farm milk prices will stay relatively high, too. Milk prices have hit records this year, though farmers say the higher prices mainly help them recover from several years of low returns. A U.S. Agriculture Department analysis says increased milk production will moderate prices somewhat, but continued strong demand will push markets both domestically and overseas.
As cattle ranchers struggle with dried-out rangelands, some have delayed stocking their herds for the coming winter season. A government crop report issued yesterday (Monday) said the combination of parched pastures and high hay prices left stocker-cattle operators reluctant to begin gathering animals to take to winter pastures. A separate report lists more than three-quarters of California rangeland in "very poor" condition.
A blueberry boom continues in the San Joaquin Valley, though farm advisors say planting of new acreage has slowed somewhat. Positive health news about blueberries has stimulated demand and recently developed varieties have made the crop easier to grow in the valley. Additional blueberry acreage is also being planted in coastal counties. Farmers have been earning high prices for berries but some have expressed concern that an oversupply could develop.
By using plastic-covered hoop houses to warm their trees, about 30 San Joaquin Valley farmers will produce papayas on small acreages this fall. The fruit will be harvested green and supply a specialty market. A farm advisor who has studied papaya production says it would be possible to grow the fruit to maturity in heated greenhouses … but would cost too much. The hoop houses harness the sun and provide enough warmth to produce the green papayas for specialty sales.Top