Food & Farm News
February 12, 2014
Senate legislation addresses water crisis
Federal legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Dianne Feinstein would increase the availability of water for farmers and other water users, as well as provide immediate drought relief for livestock ranchers. The president of the California Farm Bureau Federation says he hopes the House and Senate can work together to solve both the immediate challenges and address the long-term need for aboveground storage.
Drought worries Sacramento Valley farmers
Due to the lack of rainfall this winter, farmers in the Sacramento Valley are unsure of what they will be able to plant. Some farmers indicate they may not plant rice in order to use the little water available to irrigate permanent crops, such as walnuts and almonds. If farmers cut the amount of acres planted, it could affect the Sacramento Valley economy with a potential rise in unemployment and food prices.
Report indicates record grape crop
A record crop of grapes was crushed for wine in California last year, according to preliminary figures released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report indicated the crush increased 7 percent from the previous year’s record. Chardonnay remains the largest grape varietal, with cabernet sauvignon coming in second. Grapes produced in Napa County earned the highest average prices, up 4 percent from the previous year.
Coachella Valley to host date festival
It’s time to celebrate the date in the Coachella Valley, which will host the National Date Festival beginning this weekend. U.C. Riverside says research by a graduate student indicates that date production in California began in a substantial way around 1910. The festival became an annual event in 1947. Today, the Coachella Valley produces about 95 percent of the dates grown in the United States.