Food & Farm News
» March 14, 2012 «
Farmers in many parts of the state are breathing sighs of relief as rain reaches their crops this week. While there is no expectation of a “Miracle March” with a full replenishing of water supplies, the precipitation is mostly welcome, especially to farmers who rely solely on rain for irrigation, including many hay farmers. A report by the US Agriculture Department notes that alfalfa fields benefited from previous warm weather and are greening nicely. Other crops benefiting from the warm weather include wheat, oat, and rye.
The positive outlook for almonds and walnuts could have consequences for peaches. As peach growers look to replace older orchards, they weigh the costs and advantages of other crops. Almonds and walnuts may be popular choices in part because they require much less hand labor for thinning, pruning and harvest than peaches do. University of California farm advisors say that farmers may replant peaches because of previous investments in equipment and a family tradition with the fruit.
The shamrock plant is one of the most recognized images of St. Patrick's Day. With lush, green leaves and white flowers, it can be used as a festive centerpiece, living decoration or as a holiday gift. Growers in San Diego County report that this year's shamrock crop has been exceptional due to mild temperatures and favorable growing conditions. Shamrock sales have been good so far, and since the crop is developing right on time for March 17, growers expect to have plenty of supply available for customers looking for a little extra luck this year.
A ripple effect of drought, persistent rain and other weather issues in the Midwest last year caused a reduction in the amount of corn seed available this year. Seed companies say California farmers should have access to the seed they need, but that popular varieties of corn could be difficult to come by. The situation affects seed for corn grown for animal feed. Suppliers created contingency plans where seeds were produced in South America for sale in the Northern Hemisphere.Top