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» December 8, 2008 «
Wool prices have dropped dramatically, as have most commodity prices. Most wool is produced in spring, but handlers are still selling from storage. Some are waiting to sell in the hope that wool will increase in value. The price has dropped about 50 percent in the past three months. Wool that brought $1.60 a pound now is worth only about 99 cents a pound. California ranks third in the nation in wool production.
Delegates returning from a 10-day trade mission to China say they believe that nation is a market for California dairy products. The California Milk Advisory Board organized the trip to give participants an understanding of the market they hope to enter. The delegation toured grocery stores and saw the limited dairy products consumers could buy. Many Chinese households do not have refrigeration, and as more are able to purchase those units, demand for cheese and other dairy products could soar. However, that market will develop over the long-term.
The 90th annual meeting of the California Farm Bureau Federation opens today (Monday) in Burlingame and continues through Wednesday. Delegates gather primarily to craft policies to ensure the viability of family farms and ranches. Policy discussions will vary from determining how to gain public support for pest-exclusion programs to defining what sustainable agriculture is. Guest speakers will bring a global perspective to agricultural issues.
Almost all of the California processing tomato crop is now irrigated with drip systems. Growers have invested heavily in recent years and today use less water to produce a high-quality crop. The drip system makes it possible to closely monitor irrigation and also to apply fertilizer in proper amounts. Farm advisors have developed protocols suggesting the appropriate times during the plants' growth to apply water and fertilizer for optimum production and quality.Top