Ag News: Texas Valentine’s Day Massacre
**In what some are calling the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, an extended period of freezing temps destroyed some Texas crops and damaged others.
According to www.thepacker.com, more time is needed to fully measure the damage, but industry leaders say the freeze ranked among the state’s worst.
South Texas citrus growers endured more than 40 hours under freezing, and about four hours at 21 degrees. Strong winds made some of the frost protection methods less effective.
**The USDA reminds rural communities, farmer and rancher families and businesses affected by the recent winter storms, that USDA has assistance programs.
USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared with a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to those impacted.
Acting Ag Secretary Kevin Shea says as severe weather and
natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you.
**Urban farms and community gardens that sell or donate food need to know about how food-safety laws apply to their operations, and the University of California has produced a guide intended to help.
The free publication includes information on rules that pertain to urban agriculture in California.
Along with explaining regulations, UC says the guide lists best practices to assure food safety for produce grown in urban settings.