Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 13, 2011 «
A program to help rural schools and roads may expire this fall, and California counties are among those asking Congress to renew it. The National Forest Counties and Schools Coalition supports a funding program that started when environmental restrictions curtailed logging. The reduced logging led to less revenue from national forests … revenue that the federal government had shared with counties. The counties say they lack the property tax base to make up for the lost logging revenue.
Because Easter comes unusually late this year, Southern California farmers say they'll be shipping lots of sweet corn before the holiday. Farmers began harvesting sweet corn in early April, although a freeze in February has reduced harvest volumes to about one-third of average for this time of year. In the Imperial Valley, farmers say they expect volumes to improve back to normal by Easter, and that some stores may even run pre-holiday specials on corn.
In the avocado business, the Cinco de Mayo holiday means a surge in demand. The California Avocado Commission estimates Americans will consume more than 70 million pounds of the fruit for Cinco de Mayo this year. Farmers say their harvest appears smaller than last season's crop, but that ample supplies will be available for the holiday. California farms grow three-quarters of the avocados produced in the United States, and half of the state's crop comes from San Diego County.
This year's above-average rains have helped California wheat farmers. Many have been able to skip irrigations for their crop, letting Mother Nature provide the water. But the rains can have a down side, when fungal diseases affect wheat. Overall, farm advisors say the California wheat crop looks good. Grains are starting to appear on some stems, and harvest usually starts in mid-May.