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Audio ActualityFire damage to Southern California farms and ranches
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» October 24, 2007 «
Family farms, ranches and nurseries have all suffered losses from wildfires and strong winds in Southern California … but it will take days to know the extent of the damage. A survey of agricultural officials conducted by the California Farm Bureau indicates damage or threats to avocado and citrus groves, nurseries, vineyards, rangeland and other farm and ranch operations. Strong winds knocked avocados off trees, and scarred lemons, pumpkins and winter vegetables.
Its isolation from other cotton-growing regions makes the Sacramento Valley a good place to grow cotton for seed, but farmers will be harvesting only about half the acreage they grew a few years ago. Farmers in the "cotton belt," which extends from the San Joaquin Valley to the Southern states, have planted less cotton … so they don't need as much cottonseed. Sacramento Valley farmers will harvest about 6,000 acres of cotton for seed this year.
Marketing plans for a new plum-juice product receive a boost tomorrow (Thursday). The Sunsweet Growers cooperative will receive a federal grant to aid in marketing of the new product, at a ceremony in Yuba City. The U.S. Department of Agriculture will present a $300,000 grant. The money will help Sunsweet in developing a marketing plan for the new juice. Sunsweet is composed of prune growers who market their crops through the cooperative.
Strong prices for cattle are expected to continue through the first quarter of 2008. That, in turn, could affect consumer beef prices. American Farm Bureau analysts note that cattle feedlots in most states hold fewer animals than they did a year ago. California is an exception to that rule. But the Farm Bureau analysis says the lower supplies of cattle in feedlots nationally indicate that supplies of feeder cattle will stay tight … and prices will stay firm.Top