Ag News: Strawberry Demand Boosts Plantings and Rail Service Delays
**Strong demand for strawberries is encouraging California farmers to plant more.
Strawberry acreage is up by more than 6% since last year.
A new report from RaboResearch says the U.S. market accounts for more than 2 billion pounds of fresh strawberries, with strawberries ranking just below bananas and apples in household consumption.
RaboResearch predicts strawberry production will peak in May, led by harvests in California.
**Last week, Growth Energy sent a letter to the Surface Transportation Board to voice their concerns about significant delays in rail service, delays impacting the biofuel industry.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says while we certainly understand that a variety of factors have contributed to the rail disruptions … it’s essential that ethanol reach its destination to benefit Americans facing high fuel prices.
Growth Energy’s members ship nearly 70% of ethanol by rail.
**The Consumer Price Index increased 1.2% in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 8.5% before seasonal adjustments.
Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase.
The food index increased 1% in March as the food at home index increased 1.5% over the month.
All six major grocery store food group indexes increased in March.