Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityFarm Bureau goals for Congressional action in 2010
mp3 | Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» December 30, 2009 «
Farmers and ranchers hope to persuade Congress to act on immigration and estate tax reform in 2010. California growers need a guest worker provision in any immigration reform package to assure adequate labor supplies. Farm Bureau will also urge Congress to act on estate tax reform. Although the estate tax disappears for a year January 1, it returns at a lower exemption rate in 2011. Growers will seek an estate tax exemption for farmland as long as the land remains in agricultural production.
Cotton production in California declined last season, according to a federal government report. Upland cotton decreased by 32 percent, Pima cotton by 18 percent. Farmers planted fewer acres in cotton in 2009 in part due to irrigation water being in short supply. Cotton prices at planting time were low. The amount of cotton produced per acre varied, with farmers near the Colorado river reporting better yields than those in other growing regions.
California Christmas tree growers are reporting a mixed season. The California Christmas Tree Association says the first weekends of the season were good and trees were selling well. However, the third weekend storm kept many consumers away. Snow and ice closed some roads in the foothills where the Christmas tree farms are located. Those growers never caught up as consumers shopped where they could find trees. Final Christmas tree sale numbers will be available in April.
Researchers have found watermelon genes that are resistant to the devastating zucchini yellow-mosaic virus. The discovery will aid plant breeders to develop resistant watermelon vines. The current practice is to spray watermelon fields with insecticides to reduce the presence of aphids that spread the virus. A resistant plant is a more economic and effective way to control the disease. California ranks third in the nation in watermelon production.Top