Drones to Quantify Water Use and Consumers Willing to Spend for Fresh Foods
**Researchers at the University of California, Merced, are turning to drones and NASA satellite technology to quantify water use in the Central Valley.
Professors Erin Hestir and Joshua Viers are working with scientists at a Bay Area nonprofit, Point Blue Conservation Service, to gather data to help regional water resource agencies needing information on groundwater levels.
They are partnering with the Grassland Water District, which manages 75,000 acres of wetlands in Merced County.
**The USDA announced two new efforts to support fair and competitive meat and poultry markets.
The efforts include publishing the proposed Inclusive Competition and Market Integrity Rules Under the Packers and Stockyards Act to protect farmers and ranchers from abuse.
It also includes a new $15 million Agricultural Competition Challenge to ramp up collaboration with the State Attorneys General on enforcement of competition laws, such as laws against price-fixing.
**Even though price influences shoppers’ fresh produce decisions more during these inflationary times, 55% of consumers say they’re willing to pay a premium for the right foods because they contribute to their health and wellness.
That’s one of many findings released September 26, in the “Fresh food as medicine for the heartburn of high prices” report conducted by Deloitte Insights.