Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Congress to renew farm bill discussions
Farmers and their advocates hope the current lame-duck session of Congress will lead to a final agreement on new federal farm legislation. A House-Senate conference committee has been unable so far to settle on a compromise bill, and the previous bill expired at the end of September. The farm bill establishes policies on conservation, research, nutrition and a variety of other agricultural and food programs.

Fresh California turkeys to be in high demand
People in the poultry business say shoppers who want to have fresh, California-grown turkey for the holidays should reserve them ahead of time. Whole-body turkeys from California typically become scarce by the end of the holiday season. The California Poultry Federation says the state’s turkey production may be slightly larger than last year. But California farmers produce only about a third of the turkeys on the market for the holidays.

Purple sweet potatoes gain popularity
It’s still a specialty crop, but you’re more likely to see purple sweet potatoes on the market this year. A company that grows the purple potatoes says it has increased production steadily the past few years. The sweet potatoes gain their purple color because they’re rich in plant pigments that serve as antioxidants with disease-preventing properties. University researchers are working on additional purple varieties that could grow well in California.

Rural population decline reverses
More people are moving to rural counties, reversing a trend of population decline that began in 2010, according to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The increase in net migration to rural areas coincides with decreased unemployment, rising income levels and declining poverty. However, the trend toward “graying” in rural counties continues, as they attract retirees but lose new labor force entrants.


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.