Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow prospective water shortages affect farmers' planting decisions
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» October 17, 2007 «
Tough decisions face farmers in the western San Joaquin Valley, as they contemplate their crop plans for the coming year. Uncertainty about irrigation water supplies makes planting decisions difficult. A court ruling to reserve more water for protected fish, combined with dry weather, could cut water supplies sharply. In coming weeks, Westside farmers will have to decide if they think they'll have enough water to plant crops such as tomatoes, lettuce, garlic or onions.
Muddy orchards have complicated the end of harvest for a number of Central Valley walnut growers. They had walnuts laid in rows on the ground when heavy rain fell on their orchards. Now, the farmers are scrambling to get the nuts picked up and dried before more rain falls. Some farmers have almost completed harvest work, but others have much yet to do. Walnuts grow throughout the Central Valley, but San Joaquin County has the most acreage and has had periodic rain.
It matters where their food grows, to dieticians who participated in a new survey. More than 80 percent of dieticians and nutritionists who responded to the survey said they think it's important to know what country their food comes from. Two-thirds said they would choose food grown in the U.S., when given a choice. The survey was conducted for the California Olive Industry organization, which represents a sector that has faced significant import competition.
Low dairy intake, too much weight and too little activity make today's children more likely to break a bone than the children of 40 years ago. The Dairy Council of California says research has shown steady growth in the number of fractures among children. It says the increase correlates with a reduction in dairy consumption by kids. A professor of pediatrics says children who avoid dairy products have lower bone mass, and more risk of a fracture.Top