Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» November 4, 2005 «
An expanding sector of the California farm economy is olive oil production. Even as farmers pull canning type olive orchards, other growers are planting trees to produce oil. Production jumped 25 percent from 2003 to 2004, and University of California Cooperative Extension specialists expect growers to plant about 2,000 acres of olive trees annually for oil production until at least 2009. California olive oil is making a reputation as top quality oil.
California pork producers say their prices have remained strong throughout the year. Demand has been good in part because of an increased advertising campaign by the National Pork Producers Council. Although California pork farmers make up a small portion of the farm section in the golden state, consumers here make up a large market. Ham for Christmas and Easter dinners are a tradition in many households, and demand this fall has increased.
Vegetable farmers in the Antelope Valley are fighting a weed that first appeared about seven years ago. Yellow nutsedge can reduce onion production by as much as 70 percent. New weeds sprout every year from the nutsedge tubers. Researchers are seeking a material that will contain the weed, but carrot and onion growers are limited in what they can do. There are pre-emergent materials registered for potatoes for which use might be expanded to include onions and carrots.
California mint growers have completed their harvest. Mint is grown in the Tulelake region of the state. Farmers say the crop quality was good this year, but the price was not. Contracts provide a set amount, and this year higher fuel prices to refine mint oil ate heavily into the bottom line. Some growers have found additional markets from producers who make mint tea, and those prices are stronger.Top