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» November 17, 2010 «
Olive oil production in California will exceed 1 million gallons this year. The California Olive Oil Council says that will be up around 25 percent, compared to last year. Demand for California-made olive oil has been expanding, and the council says farmers continue to plant new trees for olive oil. Producers have been opening new olive oil tasting rooms at the rate of about one a month.
Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people will cost about $43 dollars, 47 cents this year. In its annual survey, the American Farm Bureau Federation said the cost increased about 56 cents. The informal, nationwide survey shows turkey prices dropped about 6 cents a pound. There were increases in average prices of dairy products and pumpkin pie mix. Although the cost rose this year, it remains less than it was two years ago.
Consumers will find ample supplies of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, and retailers should be advertising good prices before the holiday. The Sweet Potato Council of California says about 95 percent of the crop has been harvested. Demand for sweet potatoes continues to increase, with more being sold to processors. Consumers have been increasing purchases of products such as frozen french-fried sweet potatoes and sweet potato chips.
Central Valley wheat farmers are planting crops for next year's harvest. Wheat prices have risen this year, but the California Wheat Commission says it expects acreage to be about the same as the previous year. That's because corn and cotton prices have also been strong, meaning farmers may plant those crops instead. Some wheat farmers have already sold their 2011 crops under contracts with buyers.