Volume 23, No. 39Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Spring planting for vegetables underway despite rain
Vegetable growers around California are planting their spring crops, even though some are running late because of late-season rain. One grower in Sacramento County said he’s about a month behind; a Fresno County-based farmer said the biggest obstacle has been getting fields prepared, and with summer heat not far off, time—and timing—will be of the essence.

New food and nutrient data system provides a deeper look
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new food and nutrient data system that integrates five types of data in one place. FoodData Central, intended for researchers, health care providers, policymakers and consumers, builds upon existing USDA data to help users understand the variability in nutrient values of foods, and how factors such as climate and agricultural practices can affect nutritional profiles.

Analysis suggests farmers need disaster assistance to continue contributions to economy
An analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation found that farming provides economic benefits throughout areas of the nation affected by recent natural disasters. In California counties impacted by wildfires in 2018, agriculture represented $5 billion in economic contributions and 31,000 jobs. AFBF’s chief economist found current levels of assistance inadequate to help farmers rebuild, advocating for Congress to approve additional federal disaster aid.

Avocados could have potential in Sacramento Valley
The Sacramento Valley holds promise for growing the ever-popular avocado, according to a University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor. In a recent talk in Winters for interested farmers, she noted the flat land, water supply and interest in local foods as benefits, and highlighted the GEM avocado variety as one with potential. Pollination is the primary problem for regional growers to overcome, requiring a pollinator variety and honeybees.


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.