Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityFarmers' financial needs in recovery from wildfire damage
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» November 27, 2007 «
Without crops to sell and facing costs to replace equipment and crops ruined by last month's wildfires, Southern California farmers say a shortage of ready cash has hampered recovery. Some government relief programs require farmers to pay recovery costs up front, then seek reimbursement. Other programs have no money in their budgets. The San Diego County Farm Bureau will describe the situation to U.S. senators at a hearing in San Diego today (Tuesday).
Orchard and vineyard farmers welcome the chilly weather that settled over Central California this week. Fruit trees and grapevines need to be exposed to temperatures below 45 degrees for a certain number of hours, to help set fruit for next season. Farm advisors say chilly weather in November and December is especially helpful … but that this season is off to a slow start. There have been some cold nights, but the benefit to trees and vines has been moderated by warmer daytime readings.
To produce the large-sized fruit that many consumers prefer, farmers remove blossoms from their trees each spring. It's a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can be expensive. Now, government researchers say they've developed a method that uses an essential oil plant extract to do the job. Scientists describe the method as an environmentally friendly approach that could aid production of apples, peaches, pears and other fruits.
Efforts to address climate change offer both opportunities and obstacles to farmers of row crops, and they'll gather to discuss the impacts at a Fresno symposium next month. The meeting will educate row-crop farmers about a new California law that caps greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources. New technologies and the potential offered by carbon-trading markets will be among other topics. The symposium is co-sponsored by groups including the California Farm Bureau.Top