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» December 11, 2007 «
Two factors that have driven the farm economy this year … strong grain prices and high production costs … will likely carry over into 2008. An American Farm Bureau economist says global forces will maintain strong demand for grains, and for dairy products, as well. But the Farm Bureau analyst says the cost for fuel, fertilizer, seeds and other farm supplies will likely continue to rise rapidly, too.
Thanks to an extended season in the Salinas-Watsonville region, California strawberry growers continue to produce more fruit this year than last. Rains that reached the Central Coast last week finally ended the strawberry season there. But harvest continues in Southern California, and the California Strawberry Commission says it expects some new plantings to begin producing fruit in time for Christmas. Barring weather problems, consumers should see good supplies of strawberries at the holiday.
This is the peak time of the year for vegetable consumption. Marketing data from the Nielsen Company show that vegetable consumption peaks in November and December, then ebbs during the summer. Produce merchandisers aim to boost vegetable consumption year-round. Marketers say they'll stress the convenience of pre-cut and microwaveable vegetables and encourage people to include more vegetables in their summer grilling plans.
For the third consecutive month, California dairy farmers will see the price they earn for milk decline slightly. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says on-farm milk prices will drop the equivalent of about a penny a gallon on January 1st, to an average of $1.98. Prices dropped 4 cents in November, and another penny at the start of this month. The state regulates farm prices but does not set retail milk prices.Top