Food & Farm News
August 21, 2013
Emergency planning can save animals
With wildfires burning in California, animal-welfare specialists remind farmers and ranchers to be ready with emergency plans for their livestock. The California Animal Response Emergency System—or CARES—helps plan for fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters. The program provides resources for individuals, businesses, shelters and emergency officials in planning to care for animals during emergencies.
Drought withers rangeland grasses
Dry weather has caused California pastures and rangelands to deteriorate. A regular survey now places 95 percent of the state's pastures and rangeland as in either “poor” or “very poor” condition. The grass conditions have forced ranchers to sell animals early or to provide supplemental water and food. Farmers who feed corn to their livestock say they're heartened by prospects for a bumper crop, which could ease high feed prices.
Garbanzo bean plantings increase
You should find a few more California-grown garbanzo beans at the market in the coming year. The state's farmers intend to plant 2 percent more garbanzos than they did last year. Farmers will plant more kidney beans, too, but otherwise California bean plantings will decrease, compared to a year ago. Plantings of lima beans and black-eye beans will be reduced, and overall bean acreage has dropped 15 percent.
Survey highlights urban agriculture in LA
Nearly 400 commercial farms and nurseries operate within the city limits of Los Angeles and other nearby cities, according to a survey conducted by UCLA students. The survey found more than 1,200 “urban agriculture” sites in Los Angeles County—most of them school gardens or community gardens. Survey managers say the data will help efforts to create infrastructure and a support system for urban agriculture in the county.