Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» May 24, 2005 «
Beef promotion organizations aren't the only ones pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the beef checkoff program. Farm groups believe this decision will be a precedent for other programs supporting different farm products, which are also being challenged. Earlier the court upheld advertising programs for California tree fruit, but rejected a mandatory program for mushrooms. But, the court had never decided if such programs are government speech and now it has.
Whew, is a word many farmers are thinking as weather in the Central Valley warms, but does not get too hot. Warmer temperatures should help peaches, plums and nectarines grow in size and develop higher sugar content. Cotton farmers say their plants are thriving with the warmer temperatures. Likewise melon growers are reporting better plant development. Farm advisors say as long as temperatures stay in the 90's for a time, crops will have time to adjust to 100-degree readings later in the season.
Water releases are being curtailed at Northern California dams and that should end threatened flooding of farmland. The Bureau of Reclamation says they are keeping releases in line with inflows that have dropped. The only flooded land is in Discovery Park in Sacramento, which often floods when water releases are high. River levels peaked a foot below the stage where water would have spilled onto farms in the Yolo and Sutter bypass regions.
Field corn is replacing cotton in some California farm fields, especially in Madera County. Farmers there were late in planting cotton due to cold soil temperatures and wet conditions. Federal government surveys show many have opted to plant corn, which will mature faster. Wheat and barley are nearing harvest stage, while rice flooding of fields and seeding continues.Top