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California, U.S.A. — Farmers and ranchers are feeling the heat as a result of this summer’s dry and hot weather, considered the worst American drought in nearly 50 years as detailed in an article in the August issue of Food Nutrition & Science.
Corn has been hit particularly hard, as the drought hit the region when corn was passing through its critical pollination state. Farmers are hopeful about soybeans, which mature later in the season. As a result, consumers can expect to see an increase in food prices especially in 2013. Since mid-June, futures prices for corn increased 60 percent and 24 percent for soybeans.
“These types of crisis remind us how fragile America’s farming industry is,” says Phil Lempert, founder of Food Nutrition & Science and CEO of The Lempert Report and SupermarketGuru.com. “Although programs like the Federal Crop Insurance Program and Emergency Conservation Program will help expedite a recovery and hopefully stabilize prices, there are a lot of small family farms that don’t qualify and might have to shut down further deteriorating the farming landscape.”
Also in this month’s issue, results from a recent Penn State University study that shows people eat more vegetables when they are served a variety than when they are served any single type, even the most preferred one. The study found that filling half the plate with three different vegetables increased vegetable intake in both men and women by more than one half serving.
In addition an article on September’s Whole Grains Month and how supermarkets across the country will use in-store displays, brochures and other educations tools to encourage consumption.
Other informative articles, this month includes interviews with fresh produce Appalachian Mountain Farmers Melanie and Mike Fink and another with MaryEllen Mooney, partner/owner at Mooney Farms, about building sustainability into their strategies, operations and products.