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Ag Beat

Nurseries Sell Out Of Trees & Vines
The growing popularity of almonds, walnuts and other orchard and vineyard crops affects demand for the commercial plant nurseries that sell young trees and vines. Nurseries say demand from farmers for new trees and vines is so high that some nurseries have already sold out for new plantings to take place this winter, and are already taking orders for next year. In addition to filling customer demand, new tree and vine varieties often resist disease and drought better.
Weather, Markets Affect Raisin Crop
With the raisin harvest now complete, farmers and analysts say both weather and market forces reduced the crop. The Raisin Administrative Committee estimates this year’s crop is one of the smallest of the past decade, down about 20 percent from last year. The dry and cold winter and spring contributed to a smaller crop because the fruit was not able to develop as well as usual. And many grapes were sold to winemakers instead of being dried for raisins.
Small Raisin Crop Helped Labor Situation
Farm leader Manuel Cunha told the Capitol Press that a light raisin crop cut harvest demand this year so farmers did not feel the full impact of a perceived labor shortage.  Cunha says many growers say they were short workers this year “however crops were harvested. Cunha said he doesn’t know of any crop not harvested because of the picker shortage.”

October Farm Prices Up 8.8%
USDA reports that the preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in October, is up 8.8 percent from September. The Crop Index is up 15 points (6.7 percent) and the Livestock Index increased 4 points (2.6 percent). Producers received higher prices for milk, hogs, grapes, and corn and lower prices for eggs, apples, lettuce, and soybeans. In addition to prices, the overall index is also affected by the seasonal change based on a 3-year average mix of commodities producers sell. Increased monthly movement of soybeans, corn, grain sorghum, and cottonseed offset the decreased marketing of wheat, milk, cattle, and grapes.
The preliminary All Farm Products Index is up 25 points (14 percent) from October 2011. The Food Commodities Index, at 194, increased 14 points (7.8 percent) from last month and increased 20 points (11 percent) from October 2011.
Prices Paid Index Up 2 Points
The October Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) is 220 percent of the 1990-1992 average. The index is up 2 points (0.9 percent) from September and 15 points (7.3 percent) above October 2011. Higher prices in October for complete feeds, concentrates, nitrogen, and feeder cattle offset lower prices for mixed fertilizer, supplements, gasoline, and diesel.

CFB contributed to this report

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