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Audio ActualityIssues farmers and ranchers will work on in 2008
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» January 2, 2008 «
As the New Year begins, farm groups resolve anew to tackle the issues affecting family farmers and ranchers. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar says he expects a new push to reform federal immigration laws and to gain permanent repeal of the federal estate tax. Many farmers face water restrictions in the coming year, and Mosebar said both farmers and consumers could be affected by cuts in crop plantings.
The new year could bring a big jump in safflower acreage. Grown primarily for oil, safflower offers two main advantages for Central Valley farmers. For one thing, it requires relatively little water, making it attractive to farmers uncertain about how much water they'll have in the coming year. In addition, farmers can earn up to $500 a ton for safflower, providing the hope of a decent return. Most California-grown safflower comes from the Sacramento Valley.
Expected water restrictions could contribute to cuts in tomato acreage this year, and canneries have responded by offering higher prices. The California Tomato Growers Association says canneries have offered farmers $70 a ton for processing tomatoes, up about $14 from last year. The association says tomato acreage in the San Joaquin Valley could drop as much as 30 percent because of water-supply worries.
Reduced supplies contributed to record farm prices for California eggs. Farmers earned a record high $1.25 a dozen for their eggs during November, according to a new government report. Prices jumped 41 cents from October, also a record increase. Farmers are coming off a year where they lost money and they've been reducing production. The state's egg production dropped about 2 million for the month.Top