California Commodity Ag Digest 4/15/2024

California Commodity
Weekly Ag Digest

In an effort to prevent local herds from infection, official in California and elsewhere have imposed restriction on cattle imports from the affected states, while the U.S. Department of Agriculture has urged livestock managers to minimize the movement of cattle as much as possible.  The outbreaks among dairy cows have come as a rude shock.  They say infected cows seem to have a mild reaction and get better quickly. Also, milk is pasteurized, so if an infected cow’s milk were to get into the system, the virus would be killed. Yet others say it’s the “what’s next” question that is most worrying.  Source:  LA Times
A bird flu outbreak in U.S. dairy cows has grown to affect more than two dozen herds in eight states, just weeks after the nation's largest egg producer found the virus in its chickens.  As of Friday, the strain of bird flu that has killed millions of wild birds in recent years has been found in at least 26 dairy herds in eight U.S. states: Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and South Dakota. Source:  SF Chronicle
Several states have restricted cattle imports as concerns mount over the increasing spread of bird flu in dairy cows.  Import restrictions vary by state, though most have quarantine measures in place for failure to comply.  Source:  FoodDive
Anticipation is high for the 2024 strawberry season with industry insiders upbeat about crop quality and volume.  In Oxnard and Santa Maria, quality is excellent, and volume is ramping up as daytime and nighttime temperatures become more predictable.  California volume is expected to be higher this year.  Source:  The Packer
Due to above-average rainfall, the start of this year's California avocado season is slightly later than previous years.  California began to harvest limited volumes at the end of February, but growers are still waiting to fully ramp up until the fruit sizes up.  Source:  AndNowUKnow
The rains seen this year in California have helped increase the sizing of the remaining Navel orange crop.  In California, overall pricing is 10 to 15 percent higher than last season. There are also more and more mandarin trees being planted each season along with more orange acreage being removed.  Source:  Fresh Plaza
Agriculture experts are closely tracking the avian flu outbreak and its potential economic impact on the industry. They are closely monitoring the situation, which affects cows, chickens, dairy, eggs, and farmers. The spread of avian flu is a concern for both commercial and hobbyist poultry operations in Texas and has implications for human health. The CDC is actively involved in managing the situation.  Source:  The National Desk
There’s a shortage of beef this year, and even cull cow prices are at their highest. Records from the past 20 years show that cull values peak in the middle part of the year during hamburger grilling season (May, June, and July), then bottom late in the year. Source:  Successful Farming
AB 2745 an agricultural bill aimed at addressing pests has passed the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. The bill aims to enhance pest control measures and protect crops and agricultural resources of evasive pests from negligent property owners who currently face no consequences for inaction.  Source:  Lake County News
Should charging more for non-dairy milk be illegal? Two class-action lawsuits say it should be for coffee shops to charge more for almond and oat milk.  Source:  MSN
Blue Diamond has issued a statement of support for the USDA's inclusion of almond products in the WIC program. Blue Diamond expresses its enthusiasm for the expanded access to almond-based nutrition for low-income mothers and young children under the WIC program, highlighting the health and nutritional benefits of almonds.  Source:  PRN Newswire
California’s commercial salmon season is closed again this year.  This is the second year in a row that the Pacific Fishery Management Council voted to close the season, which hundreds of commercial fishers and tribes rely on for their livelihoods and food supplies. This year’s scarcity of Chinook salmon is tied to California’s last drought. The fish have a three-year lifecycle, so the returning fish were born when there wasn’t enough water to thrive.  Source:  KQED
The boom in butterfat consumption is being driven by consumer trends favoring full-fat dairy products like butter.  This shift represents a significant opportunity for dairy farmers, as butter prices have been instrumental in supporting milk prices.  In total, the production of U.S. butterfat has increased by 27% in an eleven-year span.  Source:  RFD TV
It's been difficult to be an almond farmer these past few years. But it’s also been difficult to stop being an almond farmer, as orchard owners who try to sell their land have a hard time finding willing buyers.  The farmland market is facing the same headwinds as the rest of the real estate market from higher interest rates, coupled with low crop prices driving demand for farmland down.  Source:  Sacramento Business Journal
With a construction boom of methane digester projects on California dairy farms in recent years, milk producers have begun to reduce a powerful greenhouse gas emitted by the manure coming from their cows. Now they must tackle the methane coming from the front end of their animals. Cow burps emit what’s known as enteric methane, and the race to reduce it represents a new frontier for the dairy industry.  Source:  Ag Alert
Saltwater is bad news for most crops, but not for a series of tomatoes, alfalfa, onions, and rice sprouting in a lab in Israel.  These crops are the non-GMO brainchild of Ṛcā Godbole, a plant molecular biologist and co-founder of SaliCrop. And they don't just grow, they thrive on salt water.  Source:  Business Insider
One of Texas’s largest poultry farms, Cal-Maine Foods, announced last week that it would cull nearly 2 million chickens after a positive bird flu test.  Source:  The Hill
Sacramento county’s diverse agricultural landscape includes farms, ranches, orchards, and vineyards and produces crops such as rice, tomatoes, pears, grapes, as well as dairy and livestock commodities. In the most recent report released by the county wine grapes, market milk, and pears are Sacramento County’s top-earning goods for the second year in a row.  Source:  Fox40
Beef cattle producers are seeing slightly lower placement numbers, but with a smaller herd, even fewer may enter feedlots. Fewer cattle may equate to higher prices.  Source:  Farm Progress
California's supply of organic garlic is winding down as the season comes to a close. Supply-wise, it's pretty comparable to last year and it is extending a little bit longer on larger sizes. Pricing is looking stronger than last year's pricing on organic garlic, although that is expected to soften as imported garlic season gets underway.  Source:  Fresh Plaza
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