Food & Farm News
March 19, 2014
Higher food prices on the horizon
Grocery shoppers can expect higher food prices later this year and next due to California water shortages. One Los Angeles-based produce broker forecasts reduced supplies of items such as broccoli, sweet corn and melons because San Joaquin Valley farmers will plant less. Marketers said some produce items may be supplemented from other growing regions, but likely at a higher cost. The drought will also reduce supplies of California specialty meats such as grassfed and organic beef.
Farmers renew call for immigration reform
Imports take a larger share of American produce sales in part because U.S. farmers have trouble hiring enough people to grow and harvest their crops, according to a study released Tuesday. The report says domestic produce farmers can’t hire enough labor to expand their production and compete with foreign growers. A panel of farmers from California to South Carolina who discussed findings of the study said reform of federal immigration laws would help U.S. growers.
Celebrating California agriculture at the Capitol
Celebration, Innovation and Education will be the theme of the annual California Ag Day, to be held Wednesday at the state Capitol. The event is one of a series occurring across the state and nation as part of National Ag Day celebrations. The Sacramento event promises exhibits showcasing innovation in agriculture, including a demonstration of a robotic milking cow named Buttercup.
Organic farmers open storefronts
People who have trouble finding organic produce in their neighborhoods have a new alternative in San Diego, after a pair of farmers opened a retail outlet in a former guitar store. Brothers Noel and Jerome Stehly grow a variety of organic produce, and looked for San Diego neighborhoods where residents had to travel far to buy organic options. The first retail store received such a positive response that they plan for two more to open this year.