Food & Farm News
September 25, 2013
Grape growers assess storm impact
Winegrape growers in Northern California will be watching their grapes closely the next several days, to see if they've been affected by rain that fell last weekend. The rain could dilute sugar content in some grapes, or cause grapes to rot. Raisin-grape growers in the Central Valley say three-quarters of the crop is still drying in vineyards, and that blowing sand from the storms may have affected some of the crop.
Rice harvest gets underway
Weekend rain in the Sacramento Valley slowed rice harvest for a time, but farmers say the crop has encountered generally favorable weather throughout the season. A mild summer helped rice grow and also benefited the milling quality of the rice. Crop forecasters say they expect the California rice crop to be about 2 percent larger than last year's, and that about 12 percent of the crop has been harvested so far.
Wineries enlist social media as marketing tool
Social media have become a growing force in the wine world. That's one of the findings of an annual survey of wine professionals issued this week by the University of California, Davis. Winery executives say they're making increasing use of a variety of social media, with offerings that include live tastings and streaming video. In general, the survey showed continued confidence about the California wine business.
Farmers seek new ways to slow metal theft
Copper wire, brass fixtures, steel pipes and other metal continue to disappear from farms and ranches, stolen by thieves who sell the metal for scrap. Farmers and law enforcement officials say two bills on the governor's desk would provide new tools to slow metal theft. One bill would help law enforcement in fighting theft. The other would clamp down on illegal recyclers that buy stolen metal. Each bill passed with near-unanimous votes in the Legislature.