Food and Farm News

November brings start of rainy season

With the Northern California rainy season beginning, the state finds itself in an improved water-supply position thanks to the heavy rains and snow of a year ago. Springtime rains delayed planting of many crops, and of eventual harvest, but mostly dry October weather helped farmers avoid crop damage. Water managers say they used summer and early autumn to prepare their facilities as best as possible for the onset of winter rains.


Workshop aims at improved weather forecasts

Water managers, farmers and other people could plan better for the coming year if they knew how much rain or snow to expect, but long-range weather forecasting remains unreliable. At a meeting in Sacramento Thursday, experts will describe steps being taken to enhance long-range forecasting. Organizers of the workshop say there's been little progress in forecasting weather more than two weeks in advance, but efforts continue to improve accuracy.


Demand rises for California olive oil

With another year of record production on the way, California olive oil producers say they continue to see expanding demand. The California Olive Oil Council says it expects more than 4 million gallons of oil to be produced this year. Imported olive oil still dominates the market, but California producers say their oil's high quality has made them competitive. Olives for oil are often harvested mechanically, which has helped the state's production to increase.


Wholesale prices decline for turkeys

Retail turkey prices typically fall before Thanksgiving, as stores run specials to lure shoppers. Prices could be somewhat lower this year, if trends in wholesale markets carry through. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says wholesale turkey prices have remained below historical averages all year for frozen birds. California-grown turkeys generally are sold fresh. About 50 million turkeys will be sold for Thanksgiving feasts.

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