Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow San Diego County farmers are preparing to farm with 30 percent less water
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» September 11, 2007 «
Higher prices for powdered milk and cheese will send on-farm milk prices up an average 6 cents a gallon October 1, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The $2.04 a gallon average price will help dairy farmers reduce their debt load from last year when prices were very low. State regulators advise farmers and consumers to expect milk price swings for the next several months. Historically demand for milk products increases in fall as consumers resume baking for the holiday season.
Red walnuts are being grown in small numbers in California. UC Davis researchers developed the variety they call Livermore using traditional methods, not genetic modification. Farmers say the trees grow slowly. The nuts must be hand shelled to retain the redness, making that procedure costly. Until a method of shelling the nuts with a machine that retains the color is developed the red walnuts will be available only at high-end restaurants and a few farmers' markets.
San Diego County farmers are planning on how to farm with 30 percent less water. Those on a Metropolitan Water District program offering lowers rates have contracts allowing MWD to reduce their allocations by 30 percent. The water agency has told growers to expect the cuts unless there is precipitation of biblical proportions this winter. As a result farmers expect less water. Each grower is figuring how to reduce production, which will have an impact on the San Diego County economy.
Wild rice farmers are concluding harvest in some locations while just getting started in others. Acreage planted in wild rice has increased by nearly 5,000 from last year. Prices remain strong as demand exceeds supply. Poor weather in other states and Canada is resulting in lighter harvests in those locations. Most California growers are reporting good yields per acre. Harvest in fields at higher elevations won't be completed until October.Top