Assessing the Wildfire Damage will Take Time
Today we have a few stories to update you on from around the state courtesy of the California Farm Bureau.
Farmers and ranchers are trying to quantify the damage from this year’s horrific wildfire season. Laboratories that test winegrapes for damaging chemicals in smoke say they're backlogged, so it may take some time for the overall impact on the grape crop to be known. Smoke can cause respiratory problems for cattle, especially young animals. Hazy skies caused by the smoke have slowed drying of raisins and other crops.
The full impact won't be known for a while, but an early September heat wave appears likely to reduce the size of next year's California avocado crop. Temperatures as high as 118 degrees during the Labor Day weekend have caused fruit to drop from trees. But marketers say the current crop will be larger than first expected. Farmers say demand has fluctuated during the pandemic, but that people appear to be buying more avocados for at-home use.
Effective this week, farmers and ranchers could begin applying for a new round of federal aid to help offset losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest version of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expanded the program to include more types of losses and more crops. For example, grapes, sunflowers and pima cotton have been added to the hundreds of crops and commodities eligible for aid.
(Source: California Farm Bureau)