Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityChanges in Central Valley winegrape production
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» March 18, 2008 «
Winegrape farming is changing in the Central Valley. Analysts say there's an additional focus on high-quality grapes, and a larger portion of Central Valley grapes now go into premium varietal wines. More farmers in the region are developing their own wineries. There are now 40 wineries in the San Joaquin Valley south of Stockton. Observers expect that number to continue to increase, as more farmers become winery operators.
With water in short supply, San Diego County farmers suffered disappointment when a predicted rainstorm failed to materialize during the weekend. The region saw scattered, light showers, but not enough rain to save farmers an irrigation session. Many farmers who buy water through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California have seen supplies cut 30 percent. Earlier storms had allowed them to skip two irrigations, but this time it didn't happen.
Carrots grown today are more nutritious than those grown 30 years ago. Plant breeders developed carrot varieties with higher levels of beta-carotene. The orange pigment helps people produce vitamin A. Today's carrots contain nearly 50 percent more beta-carotene. Government researchers also want to boost beta-carotene levels in cucumbers and melons.
A leftover from sugar production could be used to cut the cost of making biodegradable plastic. Sugar beet pulp has long been recycled for use as livestock feed or a pet-food ingredient. New research adds economic life to the pulp. It can be converted into a filler material for biodegradable plastic, which can be used for water bottles or other products. California ranks fifth in the nation in sugar beet production.Top