Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Drought impacts feed availability, orchard plantings

I'm posting remotely today as I continue to work on our big drought package. The California Farm Bureau Federation offers some reports on the situation this morning:
Animal feed suffers from drought

The California drought will have “serious impacts” to production of animal feed, according to University of California specialists. They describe oat hay as “a disaster” due to lack of rain, and predict diminished supplies of alfalfa hay, as well. At the same time, livestock owners need to buy more hay, because drought has parched rangeland on which animals would normally feed. That will lead to short supplies and high prices for animal feed this year.

Water situation could affect orchard plantings

With demand for almonds, walnuts and pistachios remaining strong, farmers continue to plant new orchards. But nurseries that supply young trees say the ongoing drought could reduce interest in new orchard plantings. The nurseries say they continue to take orders for trees, but have heard from some farmers who are waiting to commit until they see how much water they will have available. At this time of year, nurseries begin delivering bare-root trees to farmers for planting.

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