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» November 18, 2009 «
Thanks largely to lower prices for dairy products, Thanksgiving dinner will cost Americans about four percent less this year compared to last year, according to the American Farm Bureau's 24th annual price survey of traditional items found on the Thanksgiving dinner table. The survey says the food for a dinner for 10 people can be purchased for an average of about $43, down 4 percent from a year ago. Farm Bureau shoppers select the best prices from throughout the country, including California, to provide data for the market survey.
While retail prices for dairy foods have come down, dairy farmers have struggled. Farmers have been selling milk at a loss all year. But, the California Department of Food and Agriculture says some farmers may start at least to break even, when it adjusts milk prices December 1. At that time, the average on-farm price will rise to the equivalent of $1.39 a gallon. CDFA says the cost to produce milk has also gone down due to lower feed and energy prices.
Rice harvest in California is virtually complete. The federal government predicts farmers will harvest an average 8,500 pounds per acre this year—eight percent higher than last year. Early reports from farmers tend to confirm that projection. However, rain during harvest has caused some problems. Farmers won't know for certain regarding losses for several weeks, once processors determine how much moisture the rice may have absorbed.
California grown avocados have more nutrients than previously thought, according to new research by UCLA scientists. Their work was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The work discovered four additional carotenoids in Hass avocados. Such nutrients have been reported to fight ailments including heart disease and cancer. Most of the added nutrients are found in the darker green flesh of the fruit directly beneath the skin. California produces 95 percent of avocados grown in the U.S.Top