Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» August 11, 2005 «
Unusual weather continues to plague California farmers. More than an inch of rain fell in a two-hour period in the Imperial Valley Tuesday evening. Growers say hay that had been cut lost quality. Hay bales in fields were also damage, and one farmer reported lightning ignited some hay bales that were earmarked for shipment overseas. Although the damage to individual growers may be substantial, there isn't enough for a disaster declaration.
Retail food prices increased about two and a half percent in the second quarter, according to the American Farm Bureau Marketbasket Survey. The cost of the 16 basic grocery items increased 98 cents from the first quarter. However, that is counter to what has been happening at the farm level, where prices have been declining. Despite the retail increase, Americans spend only about 10 percent of their disposable income on food annually, the lowest average of any nation in the world
Valencia orange harvest is winding down in California. Once a major citrus crop, Valencia acreage has declined in recent years as demand fell. Consumers prefer navel oranges imported from Southern Hemisphere nations. However, farmers did receive profitable prices for their Valencias this season. Programs of the California Citrus Growers Association helped keep prices profitable, plus export demand was strong.
Cotton plant roots are a potential source of compounds that destroy farm pests and diseases and perhaps even guard against human cancers. That's what U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers say about a compound called gossypol, which is found throughout the cotton plant. The find could provide additional markets for cotton plants, which experimenters determined could also grow in petri dish environments throughout the year. U.S. scientists are now sharing experiment results with researchers all over the world.
On the Calendar:
The theme is "Udder Madness," as the Humboldt County Fair opens today (Thursday) in Ferndale. The Redwood Empire Fair begins in Ukiah.