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Audio ActualityComments about flooding rice fields in the fall and winter
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» October 8, 2008 «
California's macadamia nut production may be less than average this year. Most growers are in Southern California areas where irrigation water was reduced 30 percent. Farmers coped with the reduction in several ways. Growers with small acreages were able to take less productive trees off water and the more productive trees responded with good yields. Farmers with larger acreages made do with the water they had and may harvest only about half of an average crop.
California farmers might want to consider planting additional acreage in Asian vegetables. A University of Southern Illinois study suggests that Asian populations are increasing, and non-Asians are developing a taste for many traditional foods from that region. A survey of consumers shows 80 percent of the respondents expressed an interest in learning more about Asian eggplant, Chinese okra, kabocha squash, winged bean and other ethnic vegetables.
Some rice farmers have finished harvest, others are waiting for the grain to ripen. Once finished, farmers will add water to their fields to provide habitat for birds while helping to incorporate remaining rice straw into the soil. In an average year, water is added to 360,000 acres. However, because of the drought some farmers may not be able to do so this year. It isn't known how this may affect waterfowl.
Americans are going back to eating more wheat-based foods, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey. Consumption increased last year for the first time since 1997. Consumers are trying to increase their consumption of whole grains as part of a healthy diet. Bakers introduced 86 new whole-wheat flour products last year to satisfy that demand. The decline in wheat consumption is attributed to the high-protein diet craze of the last five years.Top