Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityProposed formation of a San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association
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» April 8, 2008 «
Rising worldwide demand has pushed rice prices upward. The California Rice Commission says that prices traditionally lag behind those of other grains, such as corn and wheat. But rice prices have risen to historic highs of $20.50 for a 100-pound sack. The commission says that should benefit the economies of rural counties where rice grows. Farmers will soon start planting this year's rice crop and won't learn specific prices for it until next year.
The skilled work of pollinating Southern California date palm trees has begun. Workers known as palmeros use ladders and mechanical lifts to reach the treetops, where they pollinate the crop by hand. It will take up to 45 days to complete pollination in the state's 5,000 acres of date palms. The process is starting a little later than usual, because below-average temperatures in the desert slowed the bloom. The date harvest will start in October.
With more Central Valley grape growers creating their own wineries, farmers are moving to promote the region's wine. They're looking into forming a new organization, called the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association. It would become the latest regional group formed to promote California wines. Backers say the new association would also work on legislation that affects winegrape growing in the region between Stockton and Bakersfield.
As they learn more about the chemical composition of foods, researchers will learn more about why certain foods are good for us, and why. Government scientists now know how to distinguish slight variations in the presence of "phenolic compounds," antioxidants that appear to improve health. The researchers have profiled presence of the compounds in foods including broccoli, Fuji apples and dry beans. They're reporting on the process at a scientific meeting in San Diego this week.Top