Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityFarm-related issues that may arise in the State of the Union speech
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» January 31, 2006 «
As President Bush delivers his State of the Union address tonight (Tuesday) California farmers and ranchers will be listening for his views on several key topics. A California Farm Bureau spokesman says farmers hope the president continues to press for immigration reform that includes an improved "guestworker" program. Farm Bureau says the president may also discuss energy, health-care and tax issues that will affect family farmers.
Apricot trees typically start blooming in late February ... but this is not a typical year for the state's apricot orchards. Farmers express concern that a mild winter may have a significant impact on their crop. A lack of chill hours is causing apricot trees to bloom early. An early bloom also tends to be erratic, which causes the same erratic harvest. But if cold weather develops now, frost could kill the blossoms altogether.
Sunday will be a big day for snacking, as millions of Americans gather to watch the Super Bowl. The unofficial holiday has become a key sales time for avocados. The California Avocado Commission says people will consume more than 49 million pounds of avocados on Super Sunday. Retailers say the big game also brings a big sales time for vegetable trays, fruit trays, cheese and meat trays, and finger foods such as chicken wings and submarine sandwiches.
Taste tests on raisins may help farmers focus their marketing efforts. A University of California team asked 120 consumers to taste different types of raisins, and rate them on a scale of 1 to 9. The researchers say they found certain patterns in consumer preferences, involving some varieties of grapes and techniques used to dry the grapes into raisins. The study indicated that farmers might be able to market their raisins to consumers who prefer certain types.Top