Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow water shortages affect San Joaquin Valley lettuce planting
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» July 31, 2008 «
One of the unknowns to arise from Central Valley water shortages involves the amount of lettuce that will be available to consumers this autumn. For a few weeks each fall, the Huron area produces much of the nation's lettuce, and the region has suffered from water cutbacks. A number of lettuce producers say they have secured enough water to sustain their crops. But a spokeswoman for the Westlands Water District says she expects reduced lettuce harvests in the Huron region this fall.
Freezing weather, both this spring and last spring, affect the volume of peaches on the market this summer. The mid-April freeze in the Central Valley has reduced California peach production, especially among the cling peaches sold to canneries. In Southern states, peach crops are recovering from a punishing freeze last year. A new government report says increased production from South Carolina, Georgia and other states will lead to an overall rise in the nation's fresh-peach harvest.
The question confronting a congressional subcommittee in Washington yesterday (Wednesday) involved how best to trace fresh produce, in the case of a food-safety incident. Members of Congress have submitted several bills aimed at addressing the situation. In a statement submitted to the subcommittee, the California Farm Bureau called for action including enhanced research on food-borne illnesses and how to diagnose them, plus improved communication between food-safety agencies and food handlers.
Even though fuel prices have eased a bit, there's still quite a bit of pain at the pump for consumers and farmers alike. The nation's largest farm group urged Congress yesterday to craft a comprehensive energy plan. The American Farm Bureau said a national policy should focus on energy independence and continue to emphasize renewable sources. The group called affordable energy a key factor in allowing American farmers to meet the world's growing food demand.Top