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» February 17, 2010 «
California dairy farmers will earn about the same amount for milk next month. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says all of the commodities used to set the price remained flat. The average price per gallon to farmers will remain at $1.42. The price per hundredweight will be $16.44 for Northern California and $16.71 for Southern California producers. The average milk production cost per hundredweight in the third quarter was $16.17, so farmers may earn a small profit.
Government inspectors are planning a statewide trapping program this spring to determine the extent of the European grapevine moth infestation. Thus far it has only been detected in parts of Napa County. At the same time inspectors have held meetings with Napa farmers advising them what materials are effective against the invasive insects. Tools include a mating disruptive material that was developed in Europe. The insects were first discovered in Napa last fall. In addition to grapes, the insects can attack olives, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, persimmons and pomegranates.
Cling peach farmers have removed more than 1,400 acres of trees from production this winter. That is part of an effort by farmers to bring supply and demand for cling peaches into balance. Cling peaches are mainly used for canning, and oversupply has been a drag on farmer earnings. The removal brings the bearing acreage of cling peaches in California to about 23,000. That's the lowest it has been in modern history and represents a 16-percent decrease from 2009 acreage.
Computers are playing an ever-expanding role in farm irrigation. Growers are using software that includes topics such as water management, furrow irrigation, sprinkler and micro irrigation and nonpoint source pollution. Universities are offering free seminars for farmers to instruct them about how to make efficient use of the new tools. With that knowledge growers can plug in data on their specific crops and their type of irrigation and soil, enabling growers to develop a model for their specific farm.Top