Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» January 10, 2008 «
New, green grass has already started growing on Southern California rangelands, as a result of heavy rains that hit the region a week ago. Cattle ranchers say the storms also refilled stock ponds. Rangelands throughout the state suffered during last year's dry weather. Even though some Southern California ranches received up to 6 inches of rain, the ground was so dry it soaked it up with no runoff. Ranchers say more rain will be needed within a month to keep the grass growing.
The rains came at the right time for dryland wheat farmers. A number of farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley and in Riverside and San Bernardino counties plant wheat without irrigation, relying on rain to nourish the crop. Lack of rain last year led to a complete loss for most dryland-wheat farmers. Crop insurance helped them recover planting costs so they can plant again this season. Farmers plan to market the wheat as grain and as hay, both of which have been commanding high prices.
Wine in boxes has gained market share, as young adult consumers adopt the concept of varietal wine in a box. Sales of box wines jumped 44 percent in volume last year. Wine market analysts say the packaging prevents wine from oxidizing, allowing it to stay drinkable longer once it is opened. As consumers increase their purchases, retailers now provide boxed wine with additional shelf space and in more prominent places.
Involving schoolchildren in preparing foods encouraged them to eat more fruits and vegetables, according to results of a government study. In the project, fourth-grade students selected a recipe using fruit, juice or vegetables, and prepared the food at home. Researchers said the children who participated in the project increased their consumption of fruit, juice or vegetables by an average of one serving a day.Top