Weather and Water Concerns
Here are a few relevant ag-related news stories from throughout the state brought to you by the California Farm Bureau.
Hopes for a March miracle have dissipated, with the Sierra Nevada snowpack remaining at about 60% of average—the same as when the month began. The state Department of Water Resources will conduct a manual snow survey Thursday, with early April typically being the time the snowpack reaches its deepest level. Both state and federal water projects announced last week they would reduce or delay deliveries due to the dry winter and other restrictions.
The season started slowly, but California strawberry production should ultimately be larger than last year’s, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In a new report, USDA says California farmers planted more strawberries last fall, which should lead to a bigger harvest this season. The report says Americans’ strawberry consumption has more-than-doubled since the turn of the century, with both domestic and foreign supplies rising to meet the increased demand.
To help learn how cereal crops adapt to different climate and weather conditions, a University of California professor and students will evaluate a collection of plant genes dating back nearly a century. UC Riverside says the study will focus on barley, comparing genes from plant collections. The work aims to help researchers understand which genes allowed barley to adapt to weather, as opposed to diseases or other pressures.
(Source: California Farm Bureau Federation)