Food & Farm News
» July 25, 2012 «
After a less-than-ideal start to the growing season, California's cotton plants are thriving in near-perfect temperatures. The cotton harvest is anticipated to begin in late September. According to a report from the U.S. Agriculture Department, the quality of the plants so far is very high, and things are progressing nicely. Pests have not posed much of a threat to crops this year, which is attributed to a cool, dry winter.
Rice growers have welcomed warm weather this summer, and many rate their rice crop quality as “good” or “excellent.” Late rains in the spring pushed back the planting season while farmers waited for the ground to dry out. As a result, instead of the typical October harvest, California growers may be out harvesting a “Thanksgiving” rice crop in November. If that happens, farmers will be watching the skies closely, as rains can throw a wrench in harvesting activities.
The California garbanzo bean harvest is under way, with farmers reporting good quality and quantities. Midwestern bean crops have been hit hard by the drought, but in California the plants have had minimal challenges from weather. Dry beans, including garbanzo, lima, kidney and blackeye, have been planted on about 44,000 acres throughout the state for the 2012 season. Garbanzos are the first beans to complete their growing season, and the later varieties will be harvested through the summer and into the fall.
The impact of a highway bypass project and mitigation plan in the city of Willits has grown too large without sufficient environmental review, according to the California Farm Bureau Federation. The organization filed documents in U.S. District Court to intervene in an existing lawsuit. The documents charge that transportation agencies behind the bypass project have not done enough to study how it will impact the area's environment and farmland.Top