Food & Farm News
» July 29, 2005 «
California farmers and ranchers stand to benefit from the newly approved Central American Free Trade Agreement. Lower tariffs should help increase California's market share in those nations. Nations with tourist industries will purchase more prime and choice beef for their hotels and restaurants. California cotton should be in a more competitive position for the textile industries in those Central American nations. Fruit and nut growers should also see additional markets open up.
Fig growers say this is a good year for production of their fruit. The cool temperatures in June helped by slowing the ripening process of the early variety so that the fruit did not mature at the same time. The second crop is now benefiting from warmer weather helping fruit quality even more. The trees do well in heat, and growers expect heavy production from the second crop to start in about a week.
California egg producers continue to reduce the size of their flocks as egg prices remain soft. The number of laying hens declined one percent. June egg production was 14 million eggs less than May. Nationally egg production increased one percent in June. California has imported eggs from other states to satisfy consumer demand for many years. Experts say 2005 will be a money-losing year for California egg ranchers following a profitable 2004.
Navel oranges will probably come through the hot weather okay, according to farm advisors. Kern County farmers usually anticipate that some of the crop will be sunburned during a hot summer. Although the present hot spell is warmer than usual, the fruit should develop sugar and size well. Growers are irrigating to provide trees the water they need. Harvest could begin earlier than usual this fall as a result of warmer weather.
On the Calendar:
On the calendar: The Stanislaus County Fair opens today (Friday) in Turlock. The 33rd annual Delta Pear Fair will be held Sunday in Courtland.