Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityBSE find in Canada and the Japanese halt in U.S. beef shipments
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» January 24, 2006 «
American agriculture officials have begun meeting with their Japanese counterparts, in an effort to resume beef trade between the two nations. The U.S. will explain how banned beef parts managed to be included in a shipment sent to Japan last week. California beef producers say they hope the issue can be resolved quickly. Meanwhile, the Canadian government announced that an animal in Alberta had been diagnosed with the cattle disease BSE.
Discussions about fish protection have delayed estimates of water supplies for San Joaquin Valley farmers. A federal water supplier, the Central Valley Project, usually provides farm customers with a mid-January estimate about how much water they can purchase during the summer. But the CVP says it won't do that this year. Operators say they're negotiating with environmental agencies on a protection plan for fish near the project's water pumps.
Supplies of fresh tomatoes may soon begin to increase. Florida's agricultural commissioner said yesterday (Monday) that the state's winter tomato harvest has begun. Florida is a key source of fresh tomatoes at this time of year, but hurricanes have damaged its tomato crops in each of the past two seasons. The commissioner says there will be plenty of large-sized tomatoes reaching market, and that consumers should see affordable supplies soon.
It's the food that fuels California's dairy cows ... and prices for top-quality hay remain high. But observers say they don't expect a big increase in hay acreage this year. The San Joaquin Valley Hay Growers Association says many of its members will switch more of their land to hay production, but the overall increase will be less than 10 percent. Downward pressure on hay prices is developing from Midwest grain that can't be shipped through damaged Gulf Coast ports.
On the Calendar:
Thousands of grape growers, vintners and wine marketers gather in Sacramento today (Tuesday), for the start of the annual Unified Grape and Wine Symposium.