Food & Farm News
October 1, 2014
Farm Bureau announces ballot positions
Saying that widespread water shortages underscore the need to invest in the California water system, the California Farm Bureau says most farmers consider passage of a water bond the “clear priority” among measures on the November ballot. The Farm Bureau endorsed the water bond, Proposition 1, along with the “rainy day state budget fund,” Proposition 2. It recommended “no” votes on the other four statewide ballot measures.
New water year begins
October 1st marks the start of a new “water year” for California, and water managers hope it will be more plentiful than the one that just ended. The state Department of Water Resources says the 2014 water year ended with less than 60 percent of average rain and snow, and with reservoirs drawn down to only 57 percent of average levels. The state warns that forecasters can’t predict if California will get the series of storms needed to break the drought.
Drought affects vegetable volumes
The California drought has taken a toll on shipments of fresh vegetables, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A new report says shipment volumes dropped for many fresh vegetables early this summer, as compared to a year ago. For example, shipments of cucumbers and sweet corn were each down about 20 percent in June from the previous year. Total shipments of fresh vegetables declined 9 percent during the same period.
Grants benefit farmers markets, food hubs
Initiatives to promote farmers markets and to create local and regional food hubs around California will benefit from more than $3 million in federal grants awarded this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it will invest in 40 separate projects in California, as part of nationwide initiatives. The California projects include one that would create a statewide advertising campaign to enhance the appeal of certified farmers markets.