Food & Farm News
» September 5, 2005 «
Hurricane-related damage to chicken farms in Mississippi and other Gulf Coast states will likely bring higher prices at retail stores soon. But the California Poultry Federation says it expects the increases to be short-lived. About 7 percent of the nation's poultry production was damaged when the hurricane struck. That will cause temporary shortages, but chicken producers elsewhere are expected to pick up the slack in a short time.
Seeking to help with both immediate and long-term needs along the Gulf Coast, the California Farm Bureau Federation has donated $1 per member to the American Red Cross hurricane-relief effort. The donation totals $87,000. Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli noted the need to do something immediately for "people who have been devastated." He said specific Farm Bureau programs will aid farm families who suffered losses from Hurricane Katrina.
The number of new cases of equine West Nile virus declined last week, but officials with the California Department of Food and Agriculture say that doesn't necessarily signal a trend. The state reported 44 more California horses fell ill during the week, and 19 died. The rates of illness and death from the virus remain much higher than at this point a year ago. The disease has been reported among horses in 37 counties.
The winegrape harvest has gotten underway throughout California. Warm summer weather helped bring the grapes to maturity earlier than many growers expected. In Sonoma County, farmers are picking grapes to be used in sparkling wines. Some chardonnay grapes are also being picked in locations where temperatures are warmer. In the Central Valley, growers are picking French colombard and chenin blanc grapes.Top