Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityWays farmers and farmworkers can cope with hot weather
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» July 19, 2005 «
As much of California copes with a lengthy heat wave, farmers adjust their harvest schedules and take other steps to help themselves and their workers deal with the high temperatures. Farm-safety experts say many farmers alter work schedules, so harvest begins earlier in the morning and ends at midday. Farm groups have also distributed educational pamphlets to farmers, for them to provide to workers, about how to stay healthy in the heat.
Sharp increases in fuel, equipment and fertilizer costs made it more expensive to run a California farm last year. A new report says production costs on California farms and ranches averaged more than $290,000 per farm ... or nearly three times the national average. The average fuel bill on a California farm rose 17 percent. Nationally, overall farm production costs rose 5 percent.
Rising butter prices will lead to higher earnings for California dairy farmers next month. The on-farm price of a gallon of milk will rise about 5 cents come August 1st, to an average of $1.37 a gallon. Despite two straight monthly increases, on-farm milk prices remain below levels seen during the spring. The California Department of Food and Agriculture sets farm milk prices but does not regulate retail prices.
Peach, plum and nectarine exports to Mexico are moving well this year. The California Tree Fruit Agreement says Mexican inspectors have checked many Central Valley orchards and certified shipments to proceed. The added market has helped stimulate demand for California tree fruit. But apricot growers didn–t share as much in the Mexican market, because inspectors didn–t arrive in time to provide as many export certificates for apricots.
On the Calendar:
The Merced County Fair starts today (Tuesday) in Merced.