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Posts Tagged: Agricultural Issues Center

Agriculture to take a hit, but people still need to eat during coronavirus crisis

The shut downs and self isolation sweeping across the country to curb the spread of coronavirus likely will not impact agricultural staple foods, but high-end wines and specialty ag products grown in California may suffer, reported Tim Hearden in Western Farm Press.

Hearden interviewed Dan Sumner, director of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center.

He said some California agricultural products see demand increase during tough economic times, such as less expensive wines.

“Central Valley grapes are nearly recession-proof,” he said. “When the stock market collapses or the dot-com busts, nobody's buying $200 bottles of wine anymore.”

Sumner said Midwestern corn and grains will hold their own, however California products like almonds, pistachios, walnuts, strawberries, raspberries and even some leafy greens may "slip off the plate."

Wine sales may also be hurt by California Gov. Gavin Newsom's decision to close winery tasting rooms, restaurants, bars and pubs. Wineries are allowed to remain open for pick-up and winery business and production operations.

Hearden noted in his article that many UC Cooperative Extension workshops and other ag-related public events were canceled, including Ag Day festivities at the state Capitol that were set for March 18.

High-end wine sales will likely be hurt by restrictions in place to curb the coronavirus. (Photo: Pixabay)
Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 8:48 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Sonoma county grapes imperil Gravenstein apples

Grapes, Sonoma County's No. 1 crop, were valued at about $390 million in 2010; the Gravenstein apple checked in at No. 13, with $1.7 million.
Gravenstein —the jewel of a once-thriving apple industry in the Sonoma County — is in danger, its supporters say, in large part because of another product from Sonoma: wine, reported Jesse McKinley in the New York Times. Director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center, Dan Sumner, explained the economics of the cropping shift in Sonoma County.

“If a Gravenstein apple could be sold for 10 times what a Red Delicious could, just as a Sonoma County grape can be sold for 10 times what a Fresno County grape is, you’d be set,” Sumner said. He said the decline of Gravenstein is part of an age-old cycle of crops going in and out of fashion. “You can say the culprit is wine grape growers, but I would say the culprit is wine drinkers,” Sumner said.

Seminar today on Asian citrus psyllid
Jan Sears, The Press-Enterprise

The Citrus Research Board and University of California Cooperative Extension will present a free seminar Friday morning (Sept. 2) on the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect that can carry a disease that poses a serious threat to Southern California's citrus industry.The free seminar will be from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Ayres Hotel in Redlands, 1015 W. Colton Ave. Topics will include treatment strategies, and an update on psyllid populations in Southern California.

UC Davis study finds federal program has significant effect on wine market
Obscure federal program has significant effect on wine market
Central Valley Business Times

The University of California Agricultural Issues Center released an economic study which finds that use of the federal drawback program expanded rapidly over the past decade, resulting in significant movement in bulk wine supply and prices for California winegrapes. “I applaud UC Davis for their thorough analysis of the drawback program,” said Kim Ledbetter Bronson, chair of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). “The drawback program is obscure and complicated, but the study makes clear the program has a significant impact on our industry.”

Devastating tree-killing pathogen traced to California
International Business Times

A new study by UC Berkeley and Italian researchers may have solved a decades-long mystery behind the source of a tree-killing fungus that affected six of the world's seven continents. Genetic sleuthing by an international team of researchers has fingered California as the source of the pathogen, Seiridium cardinale, which is the cause of cypress canker disease and has killed as much as 95 percent of native trees in the cypress family, including junipers and some cedars. “The fungus was likely introduced from California either in the South of France or in Central Italy 60 to 80 years ago, and that introduction resulted in a global pandemic that has devastated the region’s iconic Italian cypress trees,” Matteo Garbelotto, adjunct associate professor and UC Cooperative Extension specialist in ecosystem sciences at UC Berkeley,

Posted on Friday, September 2, 2011 at 8:45 AM

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