Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow the electricity-rate decision affects Klamath Basin farmers
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» April 17, 2006 «
Electricity rates rise, beginning this week, for farmers in the Klamath Basin. Farmers on both sides of the California-Oregon border say they hope that a staggered series of rate increases will help them cope with the higher costs. Rate increases for farmers on the California side of the border will be phased in for four years. The changes will affect farmers' cost to pump water ... and one farmer says he and fellow growers face hard decisions about whether to run their pumps.
There's renewed optimism in two of California's main potato-growing regions. Farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley and in the Klamath Basin say they expect improved markets for their potatoes. Their optimism has been hard-won. Potato acreage in both regions has been reduced, as farmers work to bring supplies in line with demand. The potato harvest in Kern County will start later this spring. Planting in the Klamath Basin has not yet started.
Between now and the start of the spring grilling season, shoppers may notice lower meat prices. The U.S. Agriculture Department says retail prices for all red meats and poultry products have been declining, as larger supplies reach market. As more people uncover their barbecue grills this spring, rising demand may push prices up somewhat. But the government report says the larger supplies and competition among meats will moderate the increases.
If you buy cooking oil, chances are much greater that it's olive oil. By next year, marketers say, olive oil could account for half of all cooking oil sold in the nation. Sales have risen at least 12 percent in each of the last two years, according to a study by ACNielsen. Reports about how olive oil fits into a heart-healthy diet have boosted sales. Olive oil production is increasing in California, which accounts for all domestic olive production in the United States.Top