Crops – D Sharma http://dsharma.org/ Tue, 03 May 2022 11:01:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://dsharma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-6-120x120.png Crops – D Sharma http://dsharma.org/ 32 32 Local farms producing crops for Pine River Shares – The Durango Herald https://dsharma.org/local-farms-producing-crops-for-pine-river-shares-the-durango-herald/ Tue, 03 May 2022 11:01:24 +0000 https://dsharma.org/local-farms-producing-crops-for-pine-river-shares-the-durango-herald/ Produce is part of the Field to Fork program Emily Jensen, co-owner of Homegrown Farm, weeds newly planted tomato plants on her and her husband’s farm east of Bayfield on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald) In a major shift to their business market, the owners of Homegrown Farm in Bayfield are selling their produce wholesale to […]]]>

Produce is part of the Field to Fork program

Emily Jensen, co-owner of Homegrown Farm, weeds newly planted tomato plants on her and her husband’s farm east of Bayfield on Saturday. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

In a major shift to their business market, the owners of Homegrown Farm in Bayfield are selling their produce wholesale to Pine River Shares this summer for distribution to local residents.

The farm previously wholesaled to restaurants in Telluride.

“We hated that our food went this far,” said Emily Jensen, who has run the farm with her husband, Mike, for 15 years.

They knew that their products were consumed mainly by wealthier customers whom they were never going to meet, but the restaurants were able to offer more money for their products than they could earn locally.

Enter Pine River Shares, which distributed food to 31,000 customers last year and wanted to start providing healthier food to residents who might not be able to afford it. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge increase in the number of people using the group’s pantry.

“We want to give good food to hungry people,” said Pam Wilhoite, director of Pine River Shares.

Back to agricultural roots

As part of the group’s work on food security and local production, they facilitated the Field to Fork program, which examined how residents of the Pine River Valley could return to historic roots of ranching and farming. farming in the region to produce food, instead of importing it from wholesalers. several distance states.

As part of the research for the Field to Fork program, local farmers explained that they didn’t sell much local produce because they couldn’t charge a price that covered their costs and gave them a profit.

Last year, Pine River Shares purchased a share of Homegrown Farm’s community-supported agriculture program and then distributed the vegetables and fruits.

Newly planted tomato plants Saturday at Homegrown Farm in Bayfield. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Sowing at Homegrown Farm Saturday at the farm east of Bayfield. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

To expand the effort, Wilhoite collected donations from local supporters and focused on paying Homegrown a higher price for the products, and Pine River Shares volunteers separate and prepare the products for distribution.

Pine River Shares also purchases produce from other farms, in addition to $1,500 worth of locally produced eggs, and purchased and processed three steers for distribution this year.

The group also provides expertise for the use of grow domes and has applied for funding to be able to distribute them, but the group has not yet received funding.

“If everyone grows food at home and we share the means of production, there will be enough food for everyone,” Wilhoite said.

Homegrown Farm co-owner Emily Jensen walks through the hoop with carrots and beets planted Saturday at her and her husband’s farm east of Bayfield. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The Field to Fork program focuses on the full cycle of food production, including growing and raising local produce and meat, processing, distribution, marketing, markets and purchasing, preparation and consumption, waste recovery and nutrient cycling.

Ideas for more sustainable local food production include the purchase of a portable cider mill, commercial kitchen facilities, a mill to produce fiber from local sheep and llamas, and storage lockers. meat and dairies to store food. This summer, the group will plant 100 fruit trees in the valley, in partnership with the Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project.

Mike Jensen, co-owner of Homegrown Farm, waters the seedlings Saturday at the farm east of Bayfield. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

The owners of Homegrown Farm in Bayfield are selling their produce wholesale to Pine River Shares this summer for distribution to local residents. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

With more people interested in growing and buying locally produced food, a local food distribution project is “much more possible” than when Homegrown Farm began growing produce in decades past, Emily Jensen said. . “We are trying to develop a valley-wide food system.”

In addition to providing food to Pine River Shares, Homegrown Farm also offers community-supported farm shares to farming customers, and the owners sell produce at the Durango Farmers’ Market.

Growing sustainable artisanal vegetables is labor-intensive and time-consuming, Jensen said, hence the farm’s previous reliance on high-end customers.

“I didn’t know I could change that for other people,” she said, with help from groups like Pine River Shares and their volunteers. “It’s a revelation for us. In all of our regions, we have the ability to choose where our products go.

The Field to Fork plan is available online at www.pinerivershares.org.

An earlier version of this story erred that Pine River Shares provides growing domes. The nonprofit is seeking funding to make domes available, but has not yet received funding to do so.

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Nawanshahr administration set to increase acreage under horticultural crops: The Tribune India https://dsharma.org/nawanshahr-administration-set-to-increase-acreage-under-horticultural-crops-the-tribune-india/ Sun, 01 May 2022 02:26:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/nawanshahr-administration-set-to-increase-acreage-under-horticultural-crops-the-tribune-india/ Tribune press service Nawanshahr, April 30 To encourage crop diversification among farmers, the Nawanshahr administration announced an increase in horticultural cropping area by 150 acres this year. Giving an update on the various peach, pear and plum farms in Balachaur sub-division on Saturday, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa said at present […]]]>


Tribune press service

Nawanshahr, April 30

To encourage crop diversification among farmers, the Nawanshahr administration announced an increase in horticultural cropping area by 150 acres this year.

Giving an update on the various peach, pear and plum farms in Balachaur sub-division on Saturday, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa said at present that the district currently has 1,200 hectares in horticulture and that would be increased by 150 acres this year. as more and more farmers opt for the sector, which is not only beneficial for them but also for the state.

He said the state government led by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was encouraging farmers to diversify their crops to improve their profitability, apart from taking them out of the wheat and paddy cycle. He said crop diversification would not only maximize farmers’ profits, but also save groundwater.

He said the growing trend of crop diversification was the need of the hour and the administration would leave no stone unturned to achieve the goal.

He said the administration will zealously carry out a massive sensitization campaign among farmers to promote crop diversification in the district. He said plum, peach, mangoes, kinnow, lemon, lychee, peas, potatoes, chilli, cauliflower and others are the main horticultural crops which are also widely sown. quantity.

In addition, NPS Randhawa said that this year, the Department of Horticulture will distribute 4,000 vegetable seed kits to people at government rate to promote vegetable gardening.

He urged farmers to come forward and embrace horticulture to increase their income and save depleting groundwater.

Deputy Director of Horticulture Dr Jagdish Singh Kahma said the Punjab government is offering a 50% subsidy for establishing new orchards. He said that the best time to plant evergreen fruit trees is August-September, and the appropriate time to plant autumn fruit trees is December-January.

He said any farmer in the district who wants to adopt horticulture can contact the district head office or the block level office.

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Administration to increase horticultural crop area by 150 acres this year-NPS Randhawa https://dsharma.org/administration-to-increase-horticultural-crop-area-by-150-acres-this-year-nps-randhawa/ Sat, 30 Apr 2022 12:07:36 +0000 https://dsharma.org/administration-to-increase-horticultural-crop-area-by-150-acres-this-year-nps-randhawa/ NAWANSHAHR: In a bid to encourage crop diversification among the peasantry, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar administration has set a target to increase the horticultural crop area by 150 acres in the current year. Giving an update on the various peach, pear and plum farms in Balachaur sub-division, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Navjot Pal Singh […]]]>

NAWANSHAHR: In a bid to encourage crop diversification among the peasantry, the Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar administration has set a target to increase the horticultural crop area by 150 acres in the current year.

Giving an update on the various peach, pear and plum farms in Balachaur sub-division, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa said the district currently has 1200 hectares of horticulture and this will increase of 150 acres this year as more farmers are opting for the area which is not only beneficial to them but also to the state.

He said the state government headed by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann was encouraging farmers to embrace crop diversification to improve their profitability besides taking them out of the wheat and paddy cycle. He said crop diversification would not only maximize farmers’ profits, but also save groundwater. He said the growing trend of crop diversification is the need of the hour and the administration will leave no stone unturned to achieve this goal.

The deputy commissioner said that the administration will zealously carry out a massive awareness campaign among the mission mode farmers to promote crop diversification in the district. He said plum, peach, mangoes, kinnow, lemon, lychee, peas, potatoes, chilli, cauliflower and others are the main horticultural crops which are also widely sown. quantity.

In addition, NPS Randhawa said that this year, the horticulture department will also distribute 4,000 vegetable seed kits to the people at government rate to promote vegetable gardening.

He urged farmers to come forward and embrace horticulture to increase their income and save depleting groundwater.

The Deputy Director of Horticulture, Dr. Jagdish Singh Kahma, informed that the Punjab government is offering a 50% subsidy for establishing new orchards. He said that the best time to plant evergreen fruit trees is August-September, and the appropriate time to plant autumn fruit trees is December-January. He said any farmer in the district who wants to adopt horticulture can contact the district head office or the block level office.
Dignitaries present on the occasion included Horticulture Development Officer Dr. Rajesh Kumar Balachaur and others.

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Summer crops threatened by nocturnal spring frost https://dsharma.org/summer-crops-threatened-by-nocturnal-spring-frost/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 20:37:56 +0000 https://dsharma.org/summer-crops-threatened-by-nocturnal-spring-frost/ Many farms in the region saw temperatures drop to -5C overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning. Tom Heeman, Field Manager at Heeman’s, was surveying the strawberry fields in Thorndale, Ontario. Thursday morning with mixed success. Frost blankets were able to protect most plants, but one field didn’t hold up as well. “The bad news is […]]]>

Many farms in the region saw temperatures drop to -5C overnight from Wednesday to Thursday morning. Tom Heeman, Field Manager at Heeman’s, was surveying the strawberry fields in Thorndale, Ontario. Thursday morning with mixed success.

Frost blankets were able to protect most plants, but one field didn’t hold up as well.

“The bad news is that some of those early blooms have been smothered out. We’re getting a hard frost below minus three, which is going to penetrate those covers and it’s going to dig into the crop,” Heeman says of ‘a field.

It’s not a total loss as the plants will add more flowers as the temperature warms up, saying, “One of the benefits of a delayed spring is that we don’t have that – that heat [is] pushing them into a risky scenario.

At Apple Land Station, Dan Muzykowsky says it’s too early to tell if frost will hamper picking your own apple orchard.

“Once they open up a bit more, we’ll know if they’ve burned out from the cold, but hopefully we’ll endure and have another night here at minus two they’re talking tonight,” he said. .

Muzykowsky says apples are a hearty crop, but prolonged exposure to frost can threaten the harvest.

“We’ll see what happens [after] two nights of that might be fine. But if it spreads further, we will have more damage, I’m sure,” he said.

Muzykowsky says this is the fourth spring in a row that they have had a late frost and they have to use special tools to combat that cold air reaching the ground.

“We have a frost fan that we can set up,” says Muzykowsky. “And we’ll try to bring in some of that hot air that’s trapped on top of the cold air to try to mix that up. So we have that buffer in there.

The advice for home gardeners is that if you have plants that can fit inside, bring them. If not, try covering them as this will help prevent freezing. Nothing is guaranteed with the unpredictability of the weather, and farmers say Mother Nature wins out 100% of the time.

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Farmers rush to protect crops before freezing temperatures | Local News https://dsharma.org/farmers-rush-to-protect-crops-before-freezing-temperatures-local-news/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 18:45:44 +0000 https://dsharma.org/farmers-rush-to-protect-crops-before-freezing-temperatures-local-news/ Farmers across the region rushed to protect their crops on Wednesday as freezing temperatures overnight threatened the viability of their young produce. The Pittsburgh National Weather Service issued a frost warning that was expected to drop temperatures to 27 or 28 degrees early Thursday morning and potentially damage sensitive vegetation. This worried Scott Simmons as […]]]>

Farmers across the region rushed to protect their crops on Wednesday as freezing temperatures overnight threatened the viability of their young produce.

The Pittsburgh National Weather Service issued a frost warning that was expected to drop temperatures to 27 or 28 degrees early Thursday morning and potentially damage sensitive vegetation.

This worried Scott Simmons as he wondered if the potential for a hard frost would cripple his apple crop at Simmons Farm just as the trees were flowering.

“It’s a little worrying. Our apple trees are in full bloom, so they’re very sensitive to cold temperatures and we really have no way to protect them,” Simmons said. “We can’t do much. It would be a disappointment if we lost them.

He hoped the location of the apple orchard on the hills atop his farm in Peters Township would protect some of the trees as colder temperatures descended into the valleys around the property. However, he said the farm had already lost most of its peach harvest this year after previous cold spells.

Most farmers are used to frost advisories at this time of year, so Simmons was surprised by the larger frost warning. Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the Pittsburgh Weather Service, said when temperatures drop below 27 degrees and frost sets in, many crops can be at risk if not properly protected.

“With frost, even small farms have a pretty good handle on protecting their crops from that or the fruit trees. Freezes are much harder,” Hendricks said. “Some of them use sprayers to keep the ice[around them]but that’s a lot more equipment they have to buy. There really isn’t much you can advise people about freeze warnings. »

Simmons and his workers spent the week shielding their burgeoning sweet corn with rows of plastic coverings, while planning to spray strawberry fields with water to provide an icy protective barrier against the temperatures.

“The gel is a little easier to control. With a frost, if it’s windy, we have a hard time getting water. That could be a problem,” Simmons said.

Mark Duda, co-owner of Duda’s Farm near Brownsville in Fayette County, said they had been preparing for freezing temperatures for several days by covering their fields with vegetables while delaying the planting of other crops. Workers spread large, fabricated agricultural blankets 50 feet wide and 1,000 feet long over their fields of corn, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.

“We’re using it anyway, because it’s not uncommon with the cold temperatures right now,” Duda said while admitting the freezing temperatures could still cause problems. “But even with this (temperature), it could be damaged by this cold. … I have covered and protected everything that needs to be protected.

Duda said cold weather coupled with wet conditions this spring delayed their planting season. They decided to wait to plant their zucchini, peppers and tomatoes knowing that the temperatures would be freezing during the second half of this week.

“I would like to have tomatoes in the ground, but the weather was so bad that we didn’t even have a window to put them in the ground,” he said. “We’re a bit behind schedule because Mother Nature has been tough on us so far. It was so cold and so wet.

But that won’t necessarily delay them when they open their farmers market at 157 Creek Road in Luzerne Township for today’s season. They’ll still have starter plants and preserves, hoping flowers will be on sale soon as Mother’s Day approaches.

“We have a huge exhibition area where we normally put apartments and flowers. We don’t put anything outside yet. You would have to walk it in and out,” Duda said.

Both Simmons and Duda said they plan to plant more other crops next month when temperatures are a bit more consistent for the growing season. People planting vegetable gardens or flower beds around their homes are generally advised to begin this process in mid-May.

While a hard freeze in the Pittsburgh area in late April is unusual, it’s not unheard of at this time of year, according to Hendricks. There have been eight days in May since 1876 when the low temperature has been below 30 degrees. The last time this happened was May 9, 2020, when the temperature hit a low of 28 degrees.

Hendricks said the low temperature reached early Thursday would vary depending on location.

“People in the valleys are the ones most likely to have lower temperatures,” Hendricks said of the cold air settling at the lowest points. “There may be isolated spots where they approach a hard freeze.”

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Some state cultures may feel pressured by war in Ukraine | To open https://dsharma.org/some-state-cultures-may-feel-pressured-by-war-in-ukraine-to-open/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 07:20:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/some-state-cultures-may-feel-pressured-by-war-in-ukraine-to-open/ As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives up prices for grain, sunflower oil and other commodities, several California crops may begin to feel the ripple effects of war, pointing out their link to global markets. Todd Sanders, executive director of the California Apple Commission, said he expects more market competition for California and other U.S. apple […]]]>

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives up prices for grain, sunflower oil and other commodities, several California crops may begin to feel the ripple effects of war, pointing out their link to global markets.

Todd Sanders, executive director of the California Apple Commission, said he expects more market competition for California and other U.S. apple growers this year.

Indeed, Poland, which has always shipped a significant part of its harvest to Russia, will seek alternative markets due to the new sanctions against Russia. He said he thinks more Polish apples will show up in markets that currently buy California apples, putting more pressure on those markets.

“Now our apples are going to have to find other homes,” Sanders said. “We’re going to move somebody else or vice versa. It’s just this huge snowball effect.”

Poland remains the leading producer of apples in the European Union and the third largest producer in the world, after China and the United States. Other important players are Turkey and India, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Although Polish apples do not currently have access to the US market, as a formal pest risk assessment has never been conducted, Poland has been included in the EU’s request for expanded market access. of the United States, according to the US Apple Association.

“What I’m hearing is that (Poland) is going to start looking for access to the US market quite aggressively,” said Elizabeth Carranza, director of commercial and technical affairs for the commission of the apple. “That could be something that we could see come into effect here in the next couple of years.”

She said there could also be more market pressure from other EU countries such as France, another major apple producer that may need to seek additional markets.

More immediately, California wild rice producers have already lost a key export market: Russia. Carranza, who also oversees trade for the California Wild Rice Advisory Board, said a recent cargo ship bound for Russia with California wild rice was rejected in port and needed to return.

It is technically still legal to ship wild rice to Russia because the product is not on the US embargo list, she said. But the problem is logistics, as exporters struggle to find shipping carriers willing to get there. Major shipping lines said they had suspended services to and from Russia.

“At this point, we’ve pretty much lost that market for our wild rice,” Carranza said.

Until the start of the war, the advisory board had “actively promoted” California wild rice in Russia with a “fairly comprehensive and robust” program, she said. The advisory board had hired a representative in the country, created a website and promoted the product on social media in Russian. Now, with US sanctions and banks not allowing wire transfers to Russia, paying trade representatives for their services has become a problem, she said.

Most California wild rice is traded domestically. With the loss of Russia, the advisory board shifted its focus and trade promotion funds to other markets, Carranza said.

For now, shippers may need to send more volume to the UK, which remains the main export destination for California wild rice. They were shipping more product to Turkey, Carranza said, but the tariffs made that market less attractive. Canada may be another outlet, and later China, to which the board is working to gain market access.

Even with the loss of Russia, Carranza said she doesn’t think wild rice growers will be deterred from planting the crop because “there are enough opportunities in other parts of the world that they can grab”.

Besides California, Minnesota is the only other state to grow wild rice. In 2020, California produced some 7.2 million pounds of specialty grains, while Minnesota produced 7.92 million pounds.

With about 10,000 acres in the state, wild rice remains a niche crop, especially compared to the more than 550,000 acres of traditional rice that California typically cultivates. Due to water shortages, rice plantings in the state are expected to drop to 348,000 acres this year, the lowest since 1983, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Shasta County farmer Jim Rickert, who has grown wild rice for 40 years, said water availability and rising input costs, especially for fertilizer, were key factors influencing his planting decisions. . He seeded his crop in the fall, planting his usual 400 acres, although he grew as many as 600 to 700 acres.

With the drought, his current concern, he said, is whether the state will allow him to use his water rights to complete the harvest. “We live in unprecedented times,” Rickert said. “I’m growing this culture on faith. The rules are changing as we speak.”

With the price of Calrose medium-grain rice looking more favorable than wild rice — and with a high demand for water to keep orchards alive — Rickert said he expects little to no wild rice to be grown in the Sacramento Valley this year.

In the past, when wild rice acreage was in the range of 15,000 to 20,000, plantings were distributed among the mountainous regions of Shasta, Modoc, and Lassen counties and the Sacramento Valley, with some acreage in the Lake County. This year, upland producers and those with superior water rights or well water are expected to plant most of the wild rice acreage, he said. With the cost of fertilizer and fuel escalating, “it will not encourage many people to increase production at all,” he added.

For California olive oil producers, the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian war — which triggered a global shortage of sunflower oil, increasing demand for other cooking oils — have so far been minor. .

While attending the Natural Products Expo West in March, Susanna Evans, sales manager for ENZO Olive Oil Co. in Fresno County, said people stopped by her booth to ask about the price – and whether the company also produced sunflower oil. Because sunflower oil costs “much less” than California olive oil, she said, it’s not considered a viable substitute.

Jonathan Sciabica of Sciabica’s California Olive Oil in Modesto said demand for the company’s oil has remained stable, even though the company has had to raise prices due to soaring costs.

Sean McCauley, who sells 80-85% of his olive oil through his retail store in Contra Costa County, said his wholesale and foodservice sales have remained “pretty static.” But retail sales saw a “double-digit spike”.

He attributed the growth to buyers becoming more savvy about olive oil and willing to support local farmers.

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New crops, food and cidery helped Rogers Family Orchard in Johnstown (with 6 photos) – The Daily Gazette https://dsharma.org/new-crops-food-and-cidery-helped-rogers-family-orchard-in-johnstown-with-6-photos-the-daily-gazette/ Thu, 28 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/new-crops-food-and-cidery-helped-rogers-family-orchard-in-johnstown-with-6-photos-the-daily-gazette/ JOHNSTOWN- Todd Rogers was just 10 years old when his father, Don, bought what would become the Rogers family orchard in 1970. Todd started working on the farm and didn’t stop. His two brothers and a sister went to college, but he wasn’t interested. He preferred agriculture. Rogers learned from his father and took classes […]]]>

JOHNSTOWN- Todd Rogers was just 10 years old when his father, Don, bought what would become the Rogers family orchard in 1970.

Todd started working on the farm and didn’t stop. His two brothers and a sister went to college, but he wasn’t interested. He preferred agriculture.

Rogers learned from his father and took classes at Cornell University. He also learned from some of the vendors he buys supplies from.

“Between those three things, we’re as good as it gets,” he said. “If you want to learn, there are many ways to do it.”

In 1992, he and his wife, Sandra, purchased the 50-acre farm at 260 County Highway 131 in Johnstown from her father.

“Initially, when we bought the farm, there were about 500 trees,” he said. Now there are 4,000 on 20 acres. Over the past decade, Rogers has planted 3,000 saplings.

Rogers Family Orchard 4/28/22

Image 1 of 6

Exterior of STAN HUDY/THE DAILY GAZETTE Cider Tasting Room

The orchard still houses some of the old standard apple trees that were planted from 1942 to 1946. These types of trees can reach a height of 30 to 40 feet. Rogers still tends to them, but he no longer plants these large trees because they are too difficult to harvest.

Every year after Christmas, Rogers and his son, Mitchell, who has worked alongside his father since he was a child, begin trimming the thousands of trees in the orchard, a job that takes months. After pruning, the brush should be picked up and transported. Rogers also sells apples to local schools all winter.

Rogers said the hardest part of his job is keeping the trees alive and healthy.

“Between the humidity, the cold, the hail and the fire blight, you really have to be careful with the apple trees,” he said.

Fire blight is a disease that can kill a tree. The disease often begins following hail or heavy rain when a tree may receive an injury that allows the deadly Erwinia amylovora bacteria to enter. The disease’s nickname comes from how quickly it can spread.

“Four to five years ago, fire blight was all over the Northeast,” Rogers said. “He can, if you’re not careful, wipe out the whole orchard.”

Over the years, Rogers has added other crops in addition to apples, including blueberries, plums, tomatoes, squash, sweet corn, pumpkins and other seasonal vegetables, which he sells in the orchard store. It also carries a variety of other local products such as meats and cheeses.

And since 1992, when he bought his own cider press, the farm has been producing its own apple cider, which is a customer favorite along with homemade cider donuts.

During the orchard’s busy fall season, Rogers employs about 20 people. In winter and spring, this number drops to three or four.

A THIRD GENERATION
Before attending Fulton-Montgomery Community College and the State University of New York at Cobleskill to study agricultural business, Mitchell Rogers wasn’t sure if he wanted to go into farming.

“Going to college, I really made up my mind,” he said. “I love doing it. I love everything about it.

Using what he learned in school, Mitchell hatched a plan to expand the business by adding a hard cider house five years ago.

“Without the business experience, I wouldn’t have been able to design this and get started,” he said.

Some of the oldest trees in the orchard are good for cider, and Mitchell and his father planted particular varieties of trees just for hard cider. Now he makes about 1,500 gallons of hard cider a year, which he sells to the Rogers cider house and some local restaurants.

People can come to the cider house to taste several different flavors of hard cider, including traditional apple, ginger, strawberry-jalapeño, blueberry, and peach.

“We also make a wild variety where we go up into neighboring land and look for wild apples, and make hard cider from those,” Mitchell said.

The cider house also serves a variety of local craft beers and a rotating menu, including items such as the “mac attack burger”, white chicken chili, grass-fed burgers and their own pork hot dogs with homemade meat sauce, among other starters.

Todd Rogers enjoys running the orchard in large part because he enjoys being self-employed.

“One of the benefits of being your own boss is that I don’t have to punch a clock per se, but when things need to be done, you need to be there,” he said.

Mitchell shares his father’s appreciation for self-employment.

“I love everything about farming and I love working for ourselves,” he said. “It’s just a completely different environment than working for a boss.”

At 62, Todd Rogers is looking forward to retirement in a few years, and Mitchell will take over the farm as the third generation owner.

“I’m ready to do a little more fishing,” Todd Rogers joked.

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Some state cultures may feel pressured by war in Ukraine https://dsharma.org/some-state-cultures-may-feel-pressured-by-war-in-ukraine/ Tue, 26 Apr 2022 18:01:40 +0000 https://dsharma.org/some-state-cultures-may-feel-pressured-by-war-in-ukraine/ By Ching Lee As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives up prices for grain, sunflower oil and other commodities, several California crops may begin to feel the ripple effects of war, pointing out their link to global markets. Todd Sanders, executive director of the California Apple Commission, said he expects more market competition for California and […]]]>

By Ching Lee

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives up prices for grain, sunflower oil and other commodities, several California crops may begin to feel the ripple effects of war, pointing out their link to global markets.

Todd Sanders, executive director of the California Apple Commission, said he expects more market competition for California and other U.S. apple growers this year.

Indeed, Poland, which has always shipped a significant part of its harvest to Russia, will seek alternative markets due to the new sanctions against Russia. He said he thinks more Polish apples will show up in markets that currently buy California apples, putting more pressure on those markets.

“Now our apples are going to have to find other homes,” Sanders said. “We’re going to move somebody else or vice versa. It’s just this huge snowball effect.”

Poland remains the leading producer of apples in the European Union and the third largest producer in the world, after China and the United States. Other important players are Turkey and India, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Although Polish apples do not currently have access to the US market because a formal pest risk assessment has never been carried out, Poland has been included in the EU’s request for expanded access to the US market, according to the US Apple Association.

“What I’m hearing is that (Poland) is going to start looking for access to the US market quite aggressively,” said Elizabeth Carranza, director of commercial and technical affairs for the commission of the apple. “That could be something that we could see come into effect here in the next couple of years.”

She said there could also be more market pressure from other EU countries such as France, another major apple producer that may need to seek additional markets.

More immediately, California wild rice producers have already lost a key export market: Russia. Carranza, who also oversees trade for the California Wild Rice Advisory Board, said a recent cargo ship bound for Russia with California wild rice was rejected in port and needed to return.

It is technically still legal to ship wild rice to Russia because the product is not on the US embargo list, she said. But the problem is logistics, as exporters struggle to find shipping carriers willing to get there. Major shipping lines said they had suspended services to and from Russia.

“At this point, we’ve pretty much lost that market for our wild rice,” Carranza said.

Until the start of the war, the advisory board had “actively promoted” California wild rice in Russia with a “fairly comprehensive and robust” program, she said. The advisory board had hired a representative in the country, created a website and promoted the product on social media in Russian. Now, with US sanctions and banks not allowing wire transfers to Russia, paying trade representatives for their services has become a problem, she said.

Most California wild rice is traded domestically. With the loss of Russia, the advisory board shifted its focus and trade promotion funds to other markets, Carranza said.

For now, shippers may need to send more volume to the UK, which remains the main export destination for California wild rice. They were shipping more product to Turkey, Carranza said, but the tariffs made that market less attractive. Canada may be another outlet, and later China, to which the board is working to gain market access.

Even with the loss of Russia, Carranza said she doesn’t think wild rice growers will be deterred from planting the crop because “there are enough opportunities in other parts of the world that they can grab”.

Besides California, Minnesota is the only other state to grow wild rice. In 2020, California produced some 7.2 million pounds of specialty grains, while Minnesota produced 7.92 million pounds.

With about 10,000 acres in the state, wild rice remains a niche crop, especially compared to the more than 550,000 acres of traditional rice that California typically cultivates. Due to water shortages, rice plantings in the state are expected to drop to 348,000 acres this year, the lowest since 1983, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Shasta County farmer Jim Rickert, who has grown wild rice for 40 years, said water availability and rising input costs, especially for fertilizer, were key factors influencing his planting decisions. . He seeded his crop in the fall, planting his usual 400 acres, although he grew as many as 600 to 700 acres.

With the drought, his current concern, he said, is whether the state will allow him to use his water rights to complete the harvest. “We live in unprecedented times,” Rickert said. “I’m growing this culture on faith. The rules are changing as we speak.”

With the price of medium grain Calrose rice looking more favorable than wild rice – and with a high demand for water to keep the orchards alive – Rickert said he expects little to no wild rice to be grown in the Sacramento Valley this year.

In the past, when wild rice acreage was in the range of 15,000 to 20,000, plantings were distributed among the mountainous regions of Shasta, Modoc, and Lassen counties and the Sacramento Valley, with some acreage in the Lake County. This year, upland producers and those with superior water rights or well water are expected to plant most of the wild rice acreage, he said. With the cost of fertilizer and fuel escalating, “it will not encourage many people to increase production at all,” he added.

For California olive oil producers, the impacts of the Russian-Ukrainian war — which triggered a global shortage of sunflower oil, increasing demand for other cooking oils — have so far been minor. .

While attending Natural Products Expo West in March, Susanna Evans, sales manager for ENZO Olive Oil Co. in Fresno County, said people stopped by her booth to ask about pricing. and whether the company also produced sunflower oil. Because sunflower oil costs “much less” than California olive oil, she said, it’s not considered a viable substitute.

Jonathan Sciabica of Sciabica’s California Olive Oil in Modesto said demand for the company’s oil has remained stable, even though the company has had to raise prices due to soaring costs.

Sean McCauley, who sells 80% to 85% of his olive oil through his retail store in Contra Costa County, said his wholesale business and foodservice sales have remained “pretty static.” But retail sales saw a “double-digit spike”.

He attributed the growth to buyers becoming more savvy about olive oil and willing to support local farmers.

(Ching Lee is deputy editor of Ag Alert. She can be reached at clee@cfbf.com.)

Permission for use is granted, however, credit should be given to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this article.

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Study: As heat increases, California crops need more water https://dsharma.org/study-as-heat-increases-california-crops-need-more-water/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 12:05:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/study-as-heat-increases-california-crops-need-more-water/ The 2021 drought taught California a new lesson in water management. Rising spring temperatures and drought-shriveled ecosystems have allowed less water to flow into reservoirs. Now another lesson emerges: crops in the San Joaquin Valley need an extra million acre-feet of water to stay cool in the heat. “Those are big numbers,” said Josh Viers, […]]]>

The 2021 drought taught California a new lesson in water management. Rising spring temperatures and drought-shriveled ecosystems have allowed less water to flow into reservoirs. Now another lesson emerges: crops in the San Joaquin Valley need an extra million acre-feet of water to stay cool in the heat.

“Those are big numbers,” said Josh Viers, professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Merced, after describing the net water loss from an additional 2.5 inches of evapotranspiration demand spread over five million acres of irrigated farmland in the valley.

Plants need this water to replace moisture lost through evaporation in the soil and through a process similar to respiration, known collectively as evapotranspiration.

Viers was speaking at a recent meeting of the State Food and Agriculture Council and describing the results of an upcoming study. The findings add to a series of new information that the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has incorporated into a guidance note for state leaders that details the impacts of drought on agriculture. and outlines actions the state can take to help farmers adapt.

PPIC will host a roundtable on the topic on Thursday with a community water liaison officer in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office alongside a Sacramento Valley rice farmer and the general manager of a local irrigation district in the San Joaquin Valley.

According to the brief, general water evaporation is already a significant problem in California. Temperatures in 2021 have soared nearly 3.5 degrees above the 20th century average, creating an additional 3 to 4 inches of evaporation demand and driving an approximately 8% increase in water demand for cultures.

UC Merced professor Josh Viers

This loss of water will be particularly painful this year, as the impacts of three dry years ripple through the agricultural industry and rural communities.

Last year, water deliveries for farms in the Central Valley and North Coast dropped about 5.5 million acre-feet, more than 40% below the historical average, according to the PPIC. Groundwater pumping has increased by more than four million acre-feet, increasing energy bills by $184 million. While subsidence increased due to pumping, it was at a lower rate than the 2012-16 drought.

Statewide, about 400,000 acres of farmland lay fallow. The Russian River Basin and winegrowers have suffered the brunt of the impact, amounting to $148 million in losses, nearly a quarter of annual revenue. The San Joaquin River and Lake Tulare basins had minimum losses of about 1%.

Many of the same policy brief authors released a report in February showing the drought resulted in the loss of $1.1 billion and nearly 9,000 jobs in California agriculture, with broader economic impacts spanning $1.7 billion and 14,600 jobs.

While surface water deliveries were lower in 2021 than at any time during the previous drought, state and federal agencies have already canceled allocations to the Central Valley Project and the Northeast Water Project. State this year for many growers, leading researchers to believe the impacts will intensify and spread. year.

“It is certain that the San Joaquin Valley will experience more reductions this year compared to last year,” Professor Josué Medellín-Azuara of UC Merced told the food and agriculture council, adding that reservoir levels are lower than last year and that groundwater sustainability plans will limit additional pumping in some countries. areas.

Medellín-Azuara, who authored the PPIC dossier, is working on a separate report that will examine the implications of agricultural land fallowing for the food and beverage processing industries. His lab also examines disparities in average water costs for irrigated agriculture.

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Citrus growers were able to stay afloat last year by working with exchange contractors to transfer water from the Sacramento Valley through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to orchards in the San Joaquin Valley, according to Casey Creamer, president and CEO of California Citrus Mutual. But it came with “huge costs”, sometimes 400% more than the usual price.

“We don’t know if we’ll have that capability this year,” Creamer said. “It’s a very important concern.”

He noted that the drought comes at a difficult time for the industry. The organization surveyed its members in early 2020, before the pandemic, and found that the average cost of growing navel oranges was $3,300 per acre. A year later it was $3,900, and adding extra packing and shipping costs had increased by about $1,000 per acre. Creamer thinks he’s now jumped to $4,500 an acre due to skyrocketing fuel, fertilizer and transportation costs.

To help farmers adapt to the drought, PPIC researchers recommend several policy changes. They suggest local groundwater agencies urge farmers to avoid pumping in areas that could impact drinking water or replace wells that are at risk of drying up. Measures like these would help farmers who rely on groundwater pumping and indirectly help maintain local economies.

Groundwater recharge projects would add more storage capacity in wet years, and the state could support that by improving storage and transportation structure as well as improving reservoir management, according to PPIC.

The report proposes other policy options to build resilience to drought over longer periods, such as limited groundwater pumping and encouragement of farmers to balance the perennials with annual crops, allowing a greater flexibility for fallowing in dry years. The state could also increase its funding by $50 million for the repurposing of fallow farmland to provide environmental and community benefits.

“It’s the new normal, folks,” Viers said, describing a 20-year empty run in California that ended with just three wet years. “Unfortunately, we are going to have to change the way we do business. We see some nibbling around the edges, but we need big changes in how we approach this.

For more news, visit www.Agri-Pulse.com.

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Unseasonably cold hurts budding crops, BC cherry growers say https://dsharma.org/unseasonably-cold-hurts-budding-crops-bc-cherry-growers-say/ Fri, 15 Apr 2022 01:32:00 +0000 https://dsharma.org/unseasonably-cold-hurts-budding-crops-bc-cherry-growers-say/ Cherry growers in British Columbia’s Okanagan region say they are worried about the survival of their crops after many of their budding trees were exposed to frosts unusual for this time of year, causing many buds to die before they even produce fruit. Sukhpaul Bal, cherry grower and president of the BC Cherry Association, says […]]]>

Cherry growers in British Columbia’s Okanagan region say they are worried about the survival of their crops after many of their budding trees were exposed to frosts unusual for this time of year, causing many buds to die before they even produce fruit.

Sukhpaul Bal, cherry grower and president of the BC Cherry Association, says that at this time of year the buds of the trees have opened and if the parts of the flower that fertilize the stamens freeze, a cherry will not grow. never.

“It’s a tense time for everyone because…we rely on these crops to sell on the road and make a living, and if we get damaged right off the bat, that really puts us behind in terms of the volume of harvest,” Bal said, adding that any sub-zero temperatures in the spring could cause a lot of damage.

He said he has heard from many farmers in the area who are worried about the damage they are starting to see in their trees this year.

The Okanagan fruit industry has also been affected in the past two years by fewer agricultural workers and fruit pickers due to COVID-19 and last year’s sweltering heat wave in Western Canada, which scorched up to 70 percent of the region’s cherry crops.

Crops far from water most vulnerable

Environment Canada meteorologist Bobby Sehkon told CBC Wednesday that a colder-than-usual arctic air mass is currently rolling in over most of the province and the rest of Canada, causing temperatures to plummet. daytime temperatures significantly lower than they would be in April, and even breaking records in parts of southern British Columbia

Sehkon explained that recent turbulent weather — such as high winds, lightning and hail in parts of the interior, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island — is caused by warm air rising toward the sun, while the cold air descends downwards.

In the Okanagan, Environment Canada meteorologist Doug Lundquist said daytime temperatures this week have been six to eight degrees cooler than normal for the region, with overnight lows reaching up to -4°. C in areas away from bodies of water.

“We are worried about the crops in the orchard (which) are mostly far from [Okanagan] lake,” Lundquist said. “Towards the airport, it is quite cold.

Lundquist said temperatures are expected to reach normal levels by the end of the long weekend.

In the meantime, Bal said, some cherry growers have used helicopters to force higher, warmer air toward the canopies of cherry trees.

“I saw a temperature change of [up to] a degree and a half as the helicopter passed,” he explained.

Bal said the last time major weather problems occurred was in 2020, when a prolonged arctic air mass in January caused temperatures to drop to around -20C and caused significant damage to many crops. cherries for the rest of the year.

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