Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» October 23, 2007 «
Southern California wildfires have damaged farms, ranches and nurseries, though observers say it will be several days before the extent of damage will be known. The San Diego County Farm Bureau says avocado and citrus groves, egg ranches, vineyards and nurseries stood in the wildfires' path. Ranch owners worked to evacuate horses and other farm animals, and analysts said the fires reinforced the importance of developing evacuation plans for farms and ranches.
Dried-out rangeland remains a fire hazard, but mid-October rains brought at least a bit of improvement to California's range and pasture condition. A government crop report issued yesterday (Monday) lists two-thirds of California rangeland in "very poor" condition. As bad as that is, it's an improvement from the previous several weeks, when three-quarters of rangeland qualified as "very poor." Livestock ranchers have struggled for months to find pasture for their animals.
Signs point to lower milk and dairy-product prices in the coming year. An analysis from the U.S. Agriculture Department, released yesterday, says higher retail prices have dampened consumption of fluid milk. As a result, more milk has been channeled toward manufacture of dairy products. The USDA projects lower prices for those products, including cheese and butter. It says on-farm milk prices will decline, from the high levels seen this year.
A key link in the California water system will be shored up, to protect it from earthquake damage. Federal and state water agencies announced yesterday that they plan "corrective actions" to protect the B.F. Sisk Dam, located between Los Banos and Gilroy. The dam creates San Luis Reservoir, an off-stream facility that holds water for both federal and state water projects. The government agencies have begun a study to learn the best ways to enhance its seismic safety.Top