Food & Farm News
» October 17, 2012 «
The California cotton belt in the San Joaquin Valley is buzzing with activity, as farmers begin this year's harvest. Favorable growing conditions have helped the crop, and a progress report lists 80 percent of California cotton as in “excellent” condition. Cotton growers hope for dry weather during the harvest because rain can damage the crop. Larger worldwide supplies contributed to a decrease in California cotton acreage this year.
Weather problems in other parts of the country may affect the grocery-store price of apples. Farmers in the Midwest and East saw apple harvest reduced significantly. In California—the nation's fifth-largest apple-producing state—harvest is winding down after a good start earlier this summer. Apple harvest here will be similar in volume to a year ago, and growers say the appearance of the fruit is good, with few blemishes.
Trade representatives from Asian nations will visit Oakland next month for a “Taste of California” trade show. Sponsors say the event will introduce foreign buyers to the variety and abundance of California-grown farm products. An increase in trade relationships will be good for the entire state: California farm exports are valued at about $15 billion dollars, generating jobs at ports, warehouses, marketing firms and other businesses.
Low-fat and high in protein, jerky is finding a new audience among health-conscious consumers. In an interview with the American Farm Bureau Federation, a California-based jerky maker said he has seen interest in jerky increase. Jerky makers have fueled demand by creating flavors such as teriyaki pork or basil citrus, and have updated their packaging to appeal to consumers looking for gourmet snack options.Top