Food & Farm News
September 4, 2013
Farmers start pistachio harvest
Pistachio harvest has started in the San Joaquin Valley, with farmers expecting to harvest about 550 million pounds of the nuts this year. As with a number of other crops, the pistachio harvest began a little earlier than usual. The harvest will continue through October. Marketers say demand for pistachios remains strong, in both domestic and export markets. California farms produce about 98 percent of the pistachios grown in the United States.
Demand rises for Brussels sprouts
As dieticians place Brussels sprouts on their lists of “super foods,” farmers along the Central Coast work to try to keep up with growing demand. One Santa Cruz County farmer says demand for Brussels sprouts has been “exceedingly good” the last few years. Farmers have planted more acres in response. Harvest of Brussels sprouts will accelerate during the next few weeks, mainly in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.
Hispanic wine market shows potential
It's the fastest-growing segment of the population, but the Hispanic market remains underdeveloped for wine, according to analysts at Rabobank. A new report from the bank says wineries could sell an extra 50 million cases of wine in the next 20 years, if wine consumption among Hispanics rises to match the overall national rate. To do so, the report says, wineries will need to take steps such as demonstrating how wines complement Hispanic foods.
Export sales remain strong
People around the world continue to buy more farm products from the United States. The U.S. Agriculture Department says farm exports during the current fiscal year will hit a record. California leads in exports of nuts, fruits and vegetables, and the USDA report predicts those will rise 8 percent next year. It forecasts record fruit and vegetable exports plus continued strong overseas demand for almonds, pistachios and walnuts.