Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Farmers work to evaluate effect of wildfires
With firefighters working to contain the severe wildfires in Northern California, farmers and ranchers are beginning to assess the impact on their crops, livestock, land and buildings. Most say it will take some time to gauge the complete impact. Grape growers say that although some vineyards have burned, others have come through the fires with little or no damage. One farmer says vines singed by fire should recover, once they’re pruned this winter. 

Survey reveals ongoing farm employee shortages
Chronic problems in finding and hiring qualified people continue on California farms and ranches, according to a survey released Tuesday by the California Farm Bureau Federation. The informal survey showed more than half of responding farmers have experienced employee shortages this year. The figure was higher among farmers who employ people on a seasonal basis: Nearly 70 percent have seen shortages, despite higher wages and other actions.  

New law will encourage purchase of California-grown food
State agencies and institutions that buy food would be encouraged to buy California-grown products, under legislation signed by Governor Brown. The measure by Assembly Member Anna Caballero of Salinas will require state agencies buying agricultural products to purchase from California, as long as the quality is equal and the price is within 5 percent of the lowest bid. School districts will have to buy California-grown if the price is equal.

Pumpkin growers say weather has delayed harvest
It’s a race to the finish for California pumpkin growers, whose crops have been slow to mature due to spring rains and summer heat. Virtually all of the state’s pumpkins are marketed fresh for Halloween, and farmers say they have seen crop delays as a result of the weather. Although it’s been a “tough year” because of that, growers say they’re confident there will be plenty of California-grown jack-o’-lanterns on the market.

A Service of the California Farm Bureau Federation
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