Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityYoung Farmers and Ranchers program helping local food banks
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» April 7, 2008 «
Rising demand for California wool has led to a turnaround for farmers. Wool prices have returned to profitable levels for a second straight year. The California Wool Growers Association says farmers have earned prices ranging from $1 a pound to as high as $1.66. That compares to 50 cents a pound, a couple of years ago. Drought in Australia and New Zealand has cut production there, contributing to the higher demand for California wool.
Fewer acres of fresh vegetables have been planted for harvest this spring by California farmers. A government report of prospective plantings shows that farmers plan to reduce acreage of carrots, cauliflower, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and asparagus. But acreage of broccoli, celery and sweet corn should rise. California farms account for half of the fresh vegetables grown in the United States.
Rising fuel prices have brought increased fuel thefts from California farms. A publication from the state Department of Food and Agriculture warns farmers to step up their anti-theft practices. In Merced County, for example, sheriff's deputies say fuel thefts have risen significantly, compared to the same period a year ago. Investigators say thieves use vehicles with large tanks and electronic pump systems to drain fuel stored on farms and ranches.
Through frequent donations of perishable foods, young farmers and ranchers in California work to fight hunger in local communities. The California Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers committee maintains an ongoing donation program with Second Harvest food banks. At a conference in Monterey last month, the young farmers collected more than 300 pounds of food and more than $3,000 dollars in contributions, which they donated to a local food bank.Top