Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» March 2, 2007 «
A combination of weather conditions and bee health drove down California honey production. A new report shows that the state's honey production dropped 34 percent last year, compared to the year before. Beekeepers attribute the decline to dry weather at key times, and to diseases that have attacked beehives. A lack of rainfall for much of this winter leaves beekeepers doubtful that honey production will rebound significantly this year.
Analysts describe it as a "perfect storm," pushing California fuel prices upwards. The California Energy Commission says crude oil prices have risen at the same time as refinery problems developed. In addition, the commission says demand for diesel fuel rose to unusual levels in January, as farmers took advantage of dry weather to do field work. The Energy Commission says it expects fuel prices to continue to increase, at least in the short term.
Demand for pinot noir wine continues to grow. California farmers have been planting more pinot noir grapevines, but market analysts say prices for pinot noir grapes have risen to the point that it may be difficult for wineries to offer moderately priced bottles of the wine on the market in the future. Strong demand for pinot noir has boosted imports of wine from France and Romania.
It's a great concern in Florida citrus-fruit groves, and one that California hopes to avoid. A disease known as "citrus greening" has attacked trees in Florida, and government researchers are seeking strategies to control its spread. Among other things, they're looking at ways to combat an insect known to carry the disease to citrus trees. Neither the insect nor the disease has been detected in California yet.Top