Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» November 21, 2006 «
A short, but sweet, California winegrape harvest has ended. Farmers say the crop was much lighter than last year, but the quality was excellent. Winemakers and growers predict the season will yield high-quality wines. Spring and summer weather reduced the crop. State estimates indicate production could drop by more than 20 percent. But analysts say the conditions also produced grapes with excellent quality for wine.
Your Thanksgiving rush may be just beginning, but turkey growers say their rush has ended. They're now turning their attention to Christmas, which brings a smaller surge in demand. As much as 45 percent of California-grown turkeys sell during the holiday season. Farmers report increased demand for heirloom and organic turkeys. Some farms also sell "petite turkeys," weighing 10 pounds or less, that appeal to people cooking for a smaller gathering.
Favorable fall weather will benefit the state's potato crop. Government forecasters predict California fall potato production will increase 14 percent compared to last year. Farmers increased potato plantings by only 3 percent, so most of the improvement comes from higher per-acre yield. Good weather allowed farmers to plant earlier, and dry conditions allowed potatoes to grow larger.
Marketers use the word "exceptional" to describe the California pomegranate crop. Harvest has now ended for the season. The Pomegranate Council describes the quality and color of the fruit as exceptional. It says shoppers should find the fruit in retail stores through next month. The crop was average in size, and demand for pomegranate juice and other products has increased rapidly. That means more fruit goes to those uses, and fresh-market supplies run out earlier.Top