California Organic Strawberries and Global Food Prices Drop
**Organic strawberries account for 13% of strawberry acreage along California’s Central Coast, and yields range from 6-to-8,000 eight-pound trays per acre, with an estimated unit price of $15 per tray.
These figures are from a new University of California breakdown on costs to produce and harvest organic strawberries for fresh markets in Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties.
The study is intended to help current and prospective growers evaluate the financial feasibility.
**Strong growth in farm real estate debt pushed agricultural loan balances higher in the second quarter.
www.agrimarketing.com reports, outstanding farm debt increased about 5% from last year, the fastest pace in nearly six years.
While ag real estate loans continued to build, production lending rose modestly following subdued demand in recent years.
Recent loan growth supported a slight improvement in interest margins and income at agricultural banks from last quarter.
**Global food prices dropped for a fifth-straight month after a seasonal rise in supplies took place and demand dropped for some products.
A U.N. index of world food costs dropped 1.9% in August and remains at its lowest since January.
While consumers will feel some relief, the declines aren’t as sharp as they were in July, when food prices dropped the most since 2008.
Food prices do remain higher than last year.