Food & Farm News
» August 22, 2012 «
The wildfires burning across the state have damaged thousands of acres, including rangeland that provided feed for livestock. Ranchers have moved sheep and cattle out of the path of a fire in Lassen County. Rangeland damaged by fire may take up to three years to recover. A wildfire in Lake County last week destroyed one farm and closed roads as pear farmers sent fruit to market. Officials warn California's fire season is only halfway finished, and fire risk remains high.
A food-safety incident involving cantaloupes grown in Indiana has farmers in California concerned. The California Cantaloupe Advisory Board says California cantaloupes have never been associated with a food-borne illness outbreak. But incidents in other states have reduced sales of California-grown melons. California cantaloupe growers have started a mandatory food safety program, and have urged growers in other states to do the same.
Winegrape growers say they're optimistic about this year's harvest. Marketers report high demand for California grapes, with multiple wineries sometimes seeking grapes from the same farmers. Many winegrape growers have already committed their entire harvest, which is a turnaround for farmers who faced challenges from weather last year. The California winegrape harvest will continue into October for some varieties.
There's a mouth-watering aroma of baking bread coming from the California Wheat Commission office. The commission has been baking bread in order to test the results of this year's harvest, and reports the quality of wheat is very high following dry conditions in the growing season. California is the nation's largest flour-milling state, with most of that flour used to make pastas and breads. Farmers grow wheat in many parts of California, primarily in the Central Valley.Top