Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» January 30, 2007 «
California cheese producers have set a new production record. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says more than 2.2 billion pounds of cheese was produced in California in 2006, three percent more than the previous year. Mozzarella leads in production accounting for 48 percent of the total and increased eight percent over 2005. This is the second time California has produced more than 2 billion pounds of cheese in a year.
According to farm advisors the farmers hardest hit by the recent freeze are those with small acreages who make their living selling through farmers markets. Most of their specialty vegetables were destroyed by the frost. It will be several months before they again have produce to sell. There are about one thousand of these farms and estimates are that 70 percent had severe crop damage. Many of these farmers are minorities and have not had time to accumulate savings to tide them over when they have no income.
California farmers may expand acreage planted in corn by as much as 30 percent this year. That's based on seed sales. Corn prices are nearing $4 a bushel and some economists project prices as high as $5 as demand for corn used for ethanol, competes with feed for cattle, sweeteners and other products. Seed salesmen say farmers who've not planted corn for 10 or 15 years are buying seed this year. Corn has traditionally been used as a rotation crop in California, but it is looked at as a money crop this year.
Entomologists in San Diego County say the recent freezing weather killed about half of the adult population of diaprepes root weevils, but the overall impact is minimal. The weevils, which are thought to have entered California from Florida on nursery stock, are in the soil in various life stages and thus escaped the cold. The insects haven't expanded their territory and agricultural workers are ready to attack them with various materials when they emerge in warmer weather. Officials remain optimistic they will eradicate the weevils in time.Top