Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» December 12, 2007 «
Growth in sales of sparkling wines has remained steady, though sales trends show that American consumers still associate sparkling wines with holidays or special occasions. Market analysts say sales of sparkling wine rise sharply during June, for "wedding season," and at this time of year. California-made sparkling wines account for nearly 60 percent of those sold in the United States.
They make most of their sales during the holidays, but chestnut growers would like to develop more of a year-round market. In Europe, chestnuts have been sold peeled and frozen, making them more convenient. For now, American chestnuts are mainly sold fresh for roasting at the holidays, and farmers sell all they can grow. Most have small acreages that they harvest during autumn. Although few statistics are kept, a growers group says California leads the nation in chestnut production.
Most California counties have been declared drought disaster zones by the U.S. Agriculture Department, and two new counties joined the list yesterday (Tuesday). The government declared agricultural disasters in Alpine and Glenn counties. The action allows affected farmers and ranchers to apply for low-interest emergency loans. Dry weather this year has caused significant problems for livestock ranchers and other farmers. At least 34 counties have been declared drought disasters.
New markets, new tools and new crops for small-scale farmers will dominate discussions at a conference today (Wednesday) at the University of California, Davis. The Specialty Crops Conference is designed to help farmers find a way to stand out from the crowd. An organizer says small-scale farmers need to find a successful marketing niche, by growing a unique crop or selling their products in new ways. Farm advisors and other specialists will provide advice on how to do just that.Top