Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityAgriculture Secretary Mike Johanns' news conference
Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» December 20, 2005 «
The largest overseas market still closed to American beef may soon reopen. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told a news conference yesterday (Monday) that he's optimistic South Korea will soon end its ban on American beef. Japan began accepting American beef last week. Johanns had just returned from world trade talks in Hong Kong. He said the United States continues to press other nations to remove barriers that slow U.S. farm exports.
Northern California reservoirs retain plenty of storage space for rain produced by storms this week. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says its large reservoirs fill more from spring snow melt than from winter rains. Bureau officials hope for more snow ... and less rain ... in the mountains, to provide water for the coming year. As of yesterday, snow levels in the northern Sierra Nevada stood at only 70 percent of average for the date.
Signs point to an increase in California tomato plantings next year. Government analysts say inventories of tomato products have started to dwindle, in part because farmers didn't produce as many tomatoes as expected this season. The report projects at least a 10 percent rise in tomato acreage. But it says processors will likely need to offer higher prices to farmers, to offset rising costs for fuel and other supplies.
New products have boosted demand for California-grown sweet potatoes. One shipper packaged miniature sweet potatoes and has been test-marketing them in California stores, to gauge consumer demand. Another packer offers a microwave-ready sweet potato. It comes wrapped in cellophane, with microwave cooking instructions on the label. And frozen, french-fried sweet potatoes are also being marketed.Top