Crop Row

Fewer field crops to be planted this year
Farmers in California expect to plant fewer acres of most field crops this year, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. That means less land will be planted in crops such as hay, wheat, corn and cotton.
Challenges facing farmers include limited water supplies and increased farmland prices. Cuts in hay acreage may be of particular concern for cattle ranchers, because they rely on hay to feed their herds as grasses dry up later in the year.

Farmers prepare for rice planting
It’s a busy time in California rice country, as farmers prepare fields to be planted. The process includes leveling the fields so they are as efficient as possible with water and other resources.
Rice growers say that so far, they are ahead of previous years, when wet weather delayed field work and planting. The planting will occur later this month through May, with acreage expected to be down about 2 percent from last year.

Analyst highlights food safety stats
Food safety efforts show increasing success, according to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control.
There has been a drop in the number of food-borne illnesses, in part due to an increase in safety testing, as well as wider awareness among consumers about proper food handling and cooking techniques.
A former USDA food safety official says it’s very good news that reported food-borne illnesses dropped 32 percent during a five-year span.
– SOURCE: www.cfbf.com

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