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» August 14, 2007 «
Lower prices for butter and dry milk will cause on-farm milk prices to drop an average of 5 cents a gallon on September 1, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It marks the first drop in prices farmers receive in 8 months. Dairy farmers are still recovering from the low prices they received last year, and a couple more dairies have closed their businesses in recent months, according to Western United Dairymen. The September $1.98 per gallon price to farmers is still higher than any price they received in 2006.
Lake County's wine-producing sector is expanding. The taste of Lake County wine event sponsored last month by the Lake County Winegrape Commission featured wines produced by 21 wineries. Two years ago there were 11 in the county. Many of the new wineries are small boutique ones featuring specialty wines. Winegrape harvest in Lake County is expected to start about September 1.
A research study suggests eating blueberries may help ward off Alzheimer's disease. Agricultural researchers fed a control group of rats blueberry extract, another group was fed only standard rat chow. All the rats had a genetic tendency toward Alzheimer's disease. When the rats reached the age equivalent of middle age in humans they were tested in a maze. Those fed blueberry extract performed better than the control group. Additional research is planned.
Klamath Basin mint growers are harvesting their crop. Farmers say it is about 20 percent lighter than last year. Springtime frost nipped some of the new growth, which caused the plants to produce less than usual. Most of the mint is sold for peppermint oil, but one grower sells his crop to the European Union for peppermint tea. Mint acreage remains constant, as there is no incentive for expansion. Supply is about equal to demand, and it is a tricky crop to grow.Top