Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityIncreasing air transportation of California farm goods
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» June 21, 2006 «
To make sure their products reach market first and best, California produce shippers rely increasingly on air transportation to send highly perishable crops to faraway destinations. Experts say the volume of California farm goods shipped via airfreight could double or even triple in the next 20 years. Air transport has been particularly attractive to marketers of short-shelf-life crops such as cherries, strawberries and asparagus.
The wait for California-grown brussels sprouts will be a little longer than usual this season. Farmers along the Central Coast were able to plant a few sprouts before rains began in late February and will start picking those crops in early July. But, they expect harvest to be spotty until August, when most of their sprouts will reach market. Since the rain stopped, weather has been ideal for brussels sprouts and farmers expect a crop with excellent quality.
California will be a bit less sweet this year, as farmers reduce production of sugar beets. A crop report issued yesterday (Tuesday) predicts a 14 percent reduction in the state's sugar beet harvest. Farmers planted fewer acres, and they're harvesting fewer sugar beets on each acre, as well. Imperial County leads the state in sugar-beet production, and the report says harvest there will continue through mid-July.
In the future, the pots holding nursery plants could be as biodegradable as the plants they contain. A joint public-private research effort aims to design and build a nursery container made from leftover farm products. Agricultural by-products as diverse as poultry feathers and cheese proteins will be among those studied as ingredients. Researchers want to find by-products that can be converted into polymers and pressed into pot shapes.Top