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» February 21, 2008 «
Another 2 million acres of California land could be paved over by the middle of this century, according to a new report. The American Farmland Trust said yesterday (Wednesday) that California continues to lose much of its highest-quality farmland. The report cites "unprecedented" land conversion between 1990 and 2004. It recommends that local governments direct growth toward less productive land and encourage higher-density development.
On the heels of a record harvest, California wild-rice growers will likely plant more this year. The California Wild Rice Advisory Board says farmers produced a record harvest of more than 27 million pounds, almost double the production from the previous year. Demand for wild rice exceeds supply, so the board expects more acreage to be planted. California leads the nation in the production of wild rice.
Signs point to reduced beef supplies in 2008. Government analysts say cattle ranchers will be slow to build their herds, because of concerns about drought, feed prices and the general economy. Despite the prospect of lower supplies, the analysts say retail beef prices may come down. The average retail beef price set a record high in 2007, but abundant pork and poultry supplies could put downward pressure on beef prices.
Several supermarket chains have announced plans to adopt independent nutrition rating systems, and the California Walnut Commission says it welcomes the trend. The commission issued a news release yesterday, showing that walnuts scored well on nutrition scales used to compile the new ratings. Nutritionists say walnuts rank highly in nutrient density. The commission says 15 years of clinical research shows that eating walnuts aids heart health and has other benefits.Top