Challenges from Transportation to Pollination
Labor and water continue to be important issues for California farmers and ranchers. Here are a few updates from around the state courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation.
As the California harvest season gains momentum, transportation companies worry there may not be enough truck drivers to move crops to market. People in the trucking and food businesses report they’re already short of drivers to haul carrots and onions from Southern California fields. They say the shortages could worsen as harvests move north. Driver shortages have been a chronic problem that firms say has been amplified by the pandemic.
Potential thieves in rural California have been using drones to locate equipment and tools they want to steal. The drones can scout property not visible from a public road. Authorities in Solano County report arresting two suspects in drone-related thefts, and other rural-crime deputies describe similar situations. Deputies have warned farmers to keep valuable equipment out of sight from the air if possible, as well as locking it after use.
This is the busiest time of year for beekeepers who breed and sell queen bees to help replenish honeybee colonies—and the breeders say the drought may lead to additional demand. Dry weather reduces the amount of forage available to bees, meaning beekeepers could need to buy more queens to restock hives. Bee breeders say demand for new queens has been so intense that they have had to turn away prospective customers.
(Source: California Farm Bureau Federation)