Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» March 11, 2009 «
Central Valley farmers used various frost-protection devices in their orchards and vineyards as temperatures as low as 27 degrees were reported Monday night. It will take several days before growers know if there has been damage. Peaches, plums and nectarines were close to full bloom, and a few vineyards had bud break. Initial inspections show some minor damage, but often frost-burned buds and blossoms show up later. Temperatures are predicted to be moderate the rest of the week.
California timber farmers are wondering if there will be a market for their pine logs this year. The decline in housing construction has greatly reduced lumber demand. Mills have large supplies of logs left from last year, and the credit crunch makes it difficult for timber mills to obtain money to buy logs. Farmers know that if there is a market, the prices they earn will be lower. Demand for redwood is also lower, but exists for home improvements and outdoor furniture.
Farmers and others in the Klamath Basin have been notified of a delay in the start of irrigation water deliveries. Because of dry weather, Upper Klamath Lake is a foot below the minimum elevation identified as needed to protect endangered species. Seasonal inflow to the lake is estimated to be about 71 percent of average this year. When water deliveries begin depends on when the water in the lake increases above the minimum level.
Dairy farmers will earn an average of 4 cents a gallon more for their milk next month. The California Department of Food and Agriculture, which sets the farm milk price, says the statewide average April 1 will be $1.01 a gallon. Prices increased for cheese, butter and dry whey, which caused the price increase. However, even with the increase in price, most farmers will be earning less for their milk than it costs to produce it. Milk prices peaked in December 2007 at $2.01 a gallon.Top