news

  • California wheat production may jump in 2015

    By PN News on December 12, 2014
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    Although California wheat acreage dropped significantly in 2014, farmers may be planting more of it this fall and winter, thanks in part to a record tomato crop. Much of the state’s wheat is planted in rotation, typically following tomatoes, said Janice Cooper, executive director of the California Wheat Commission. That the tomato crop was so big this year may indicate […]
  • Grain, Soybean Futures Slide on Demand Caution

    By PN News on November 19, 2014
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    Prices for U.S. grain and soybean futures fell on Wednesday as harvest wraps up in the U.S. Farm Belt and caution over the demand picture lingers for some U.S. agricultural commodities. Corn and wheat prices declined thanks to sluggish demand for U.S. supplies of the grains. Corn prices were falling for a fourth session in a row as farmers finish […]
  • East? West? Which Has the Better Butter Stick?

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    Did you ever notice that butter is sold in long, thin sticks in the eastern part of the United States, while in the West it’s sold in short, stout blocks? Honestly, me neither. But a consumer who did recently asked Marketplace.org for an explanation. Turns out the East-West butter divide dates back to the 1960s. Before then the West Coast […]
  • Tomato harvest breaks California record

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    Not even an epic drought could stop the familiar convoy of agricultural trucks hurtling down Central Valley freeways this year, brimming with freshly harvested tomatoes. Defying the state’s devastating water shortage, California farmers produced a record tomato crop. The harvest came in at an estimated 14 million tons of processing tomatoes. Those are the type used to make sauce, salsa […]
  • DHM Numbers: California December Class 1 prices announced

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    California’s December Class 1 milk prices are $23.72/cwt. for the North and $23.99/cwt. for the South. Both are down 61¢ from November and the lowest since February. However, both are $1.99 more than December 2013. With December’s prices, the 2014 average prices were $24.76/cwt. for the North and $25.03/cwt. for the South. Both are up $4.47/cwt. compared to 2013. The […]
  • With Farm Robotics, the Cows Decide When It’s Milking Time

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves. Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand. Scores of the machines have […]
  • Valley raisin growers, packers agree on price after tough negotiations

    By PN News on November 11, 2014
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    After weeks of negotiations, California raisin growers and the industry’s packers have agreed on a price for the 2014 crop: $1,775 a ton, an increase of 7.5% over the previous year. Raisin Bargaining Association officials were pushing for a higher price, given that the size of this year’s crop is expected to be smaller. Some farmers have estimated the state’s […]
  • Prison Dairy Gives Inmates Job Skills — And A Sense Of Purpose

    By PN News on November 4, 2014
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    Making license plates is the stereotypical job for a prisoner, but in California’s Central Valley, a group of inmates are doing very different work, supplying milk to almost every prisoner in the state system. They earn just 35 to 95 cents an hour, but inmates at Corcoran state prison say the job gives them plenty of other benefits. “I like coming out […]
  • Ag co-ops thrive in Valley and beyond

    By PN News on October 30, 2014
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    Ag co-ops across the nation had a record $246 billion in sales last year, a 4% gain over 2012, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It was the third straight annual increase, reflecting the strength of agriculture overall. The sales total includes farms, ranches and fishing ventures that sell their products through co-ops, […]