- Author: Ria DeBiase, Giannini Foundation
Wheat and corn prices have spiked after Russian aggression in the Black Sea
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in early 2022 caused wheat and corn prices to spike 30% and 13%, respectively, and threatened a worldwide food crisis. International efforts to mitigate a food security crisis via the Solidarity Lanes and the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) have successfully allowed grain exports out of Ukraine. However, Russia's recent withdrawal from the BSGI, coupled with increased bombings of Odesa and Danube River ports, caused another price spike for these grains. Further aggression in the region.../h3>
- Author: Mike Hsu
Study by UCCE advisor in Imperial County also shows 5% increase in yield
A new study suggests that drip irrigation for sweet corn can significantly conserve water, reduce fertilizer use and boost crop yield in the low desert of California – and likely in other areas of the state with similar conditions.
Although Imperial County is California's top sweet corn-producing county, with about 8,000 acres planted on average each year, irrigation methods for this crop have been rarely studied in this region (or anywhere else in the state), according to Ali Montazar, UC Cooperative Extension irrigation and water.../h3>
- Author: Marissa Palin
I often look at foods and wonder, “Who’s idea was it to eat this?” Some foods just don’t look like they should be food, including huitlacoche.
Huitlacoche is corn smut — a fungus that often infects sweet corn during times of drought. It enters the plant through the ovaries, and replaces the corn kernels with large tumor-like spores that look like really ugly mushrooms. Farmers in the U.S. have spent millions of dollars trying to eradicate the infection. The UC Davis Student Farm has a bad case of corn smut this year, and it’s threatening to ruin their entire crop.
But it may not be such a bad thing. Often known as the...
- Author: Janet Byron
A new federal voucher that gives low-income women access to a range of fruits and vegetables could provide unique new marketing opportunities for California growers.
In 2009, the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) began distributing monthly cash vouchers to low-income women with children to buy fruits and vegetables. The program reaches almost half of the infants and one-quarter of children under 5 years old in the United States.
A team of UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) researchers and nutrition advisors has been exploring the possibility of developing a farm-to-WIC program that would link these low-income consumers with local growers. The purpose of such a program would...