Food & Farm News
» January 9, 2013 «
Americans are eating more avocados these days, and the forecast for the coming year shows a good crop to help meet the demand. According to a report by the US Agriculture Department, the annual per-person consumption of avocados is about 4-and-a-half pounds, more than double the amount from just a decade ago. Initial estimates show that last year's avocado supply from domestic and imported sources set a record at 1.5 billion pounds.
California produces two-thirds of the US mandarin crop, and crop estimators forecast a record season for mandarin and tangerine growers. A government crop report says the total US mandarin and tangerine crop could be up nearly 8 percent from the previous year. Analysts attribute the increase to the maturation of a large number of mandarin and tangerine groves that have been planted in recent years and are now producing fruit.
With the hustle and bustle of the harvest behind them, many tree fruit and nut growers now take time to prune orchards and vineyards. The US Agriculture Department reports that farmers of stone fruits, including peaches and plums, are pruning trees in preparation for next spring's growth. Most stone fruit and nut trees are in their dormant phase at this point in the year. During dormancy, the trees benefit from cold winter temperatures.
Family farmers and ranchers from throughout the nation, including a delegation from California, travel to Nashville this weekend for the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting. California delegates will meet with their counterparts from across the country to determine Farm Bureau priorities for the coming year. Additionally, young California farmers will compete for awards recognizing public speaking and contributions to the farming and ranching community.