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Ag Beat: Fewer Find Milk Does A Body Good / Tomato Harvest Record / GM Potato

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 2.56.38 PMCalifornia Fluid Milk Production Continues to Tank

Fluid milk produced in California continues to plunge, down nearly 5% in the first half  half of 2015 says CDFA. California, like the rest of the nation, is drinking fewer glasses of milk than a decade ago as consumers trend toward other beverages.USDA says nationally the US drank less milk in 2014 than it did in 1975  when the US population was over 100 million fewer.


Contracted production for California processing tomatoes is forecast at 14.5 million tons, averaging 49.5 tons per acre. The current forecasted production is 4% above the 2014 crop, and 1% above the May forecast.
Harvest started the first week of July in the Southern growing areas and is expected to run through mid-October. The 2015 crop year has had low disease and pest pressures and cooperative weather. As in 2014, the primary issue affecting yield has been availability of water. The ongoing, extreme drought in California has forced growers to fallow land and cut back on the acreage for many crops. However, despite the water concerns, the acreage devoted to processing tomatoes has increased from last year.
The projected harvested acreage of tomatoes is 293,000 acres, a 3% increase from 2014.
The shipping reports published by the Processing Tomato Advisory Board show that shipments through August 22, 2015 are running 8% above that of 2014.

Simplot Gets OK For GM Potato

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine and that still damages crops.
Food giant J.R. Simplot Co. says that the Russet Burbank variety can also be stored at colder temperatures longer to reduce food waste. Simplot earlier this year got FDA approval for its so called  Innate potato said to reduce harmful chemicals when they make french fries that can cause cancer.

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