Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Winter weather slows desert vegetable harvests
A cooler-than-usual winter in the California desert has altered vegetable-production schedules in the region. Farmers say their harvests have been running more slowly than usual, in part because chilly morning temperatures have forced crews to wait to start picking lettuce and other crops. Wholesale markets for vegetables have reflected the colder weather, and farmers say the weather will also extend the desert harvest season.

Farmers work to protect tree crops after rains
An expected stretch of dry weather the next few days will give Central Valley farmers a chance to protect their crops from fungal diseases that can result from rain. The diseases pose a particular threat to almonds and other tree crops. Agricultural aviation companies say they’ve seen a surge in business from farmers who need to try to head off the crop diseases, but whose tractors can’t navigate muddy orchards.

Trends point to lower lumber prices
Timber operators say they expect lumber prices to decline at least slightly this year. Analysts say lumber prices often follow trends in the construction market, and housing starts dropped last fall and early this winter. Housing starts have rebounded slightly since then, and timber operators say they hope that will help moderate any downturn in their markets. An influx of salvage logs from wildfire areas could also affect lumber prices.

Farmers, ranchers to receive leadership training
Ten farmers and ranchers from around California have begun intensive training on agricultural issues and governmental policy as part of the Leadership Farm Bureau program. The program’s 2019 class was formally introduced Tuesday during a California Farm Bureau conference in Sacramento. Class members were among more than 250 Farm Bureau members who participated in legislative visits at the state Capitol during the conference.


The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.