Crazy Moos

Moosworthy Information Straight from the Dairy!

Interesting Facts about California Agriculture

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**A California Wheat Field**

California is famous for so many things: technology, Apple computers, beaches, surfing, movies, Hollywood. What many people don’t realize is that California affects their daily lives in a much more important way. Note:some people may beg to differ since it’s almost impossible to live without Facebook, or their iPhone…

California is one of the most productive places in the world in terms of food production, yet many of the people in California are unaware of the immense productivity of California farms. Many people pass farms here in California while driving down the road, without realizing that California is actually the breadbasket of the world.

Just to prove how important California agriculture is to the United States, I pulled together some fun and interesting facts. Some of these facts may surprise you

  • California is the world’s 5th largest supplier of food, cotton fiber and other agricultural commodities.
  • California is the largest producer of food in the U.S. yet has less than 4% of the farms in the U.S.
  • The unique Mediterranean climate allows us to grow over 450+ different crops.
  • Some of these crops are exclusive to California: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pomegranates, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts
  • California is the largest exporter of almonds in the world
  • California is the number 1 dairy state in the U.S.
  • California produces over 86% of all the lemons consumed in the United States.
  • California is the 4th largest wine producer in the world and produces over 90% of the wine in the U.S.
  • 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California
  • California accounts for 94% of the processed tomatoes in the U.S.
  • California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country’s total fresh and frozen strawberry production.
  • The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.
  • California produces 25% of the nation’s onions and 43% of the nation’s green onions.

The pictures in this posting were taken by me this month. You can see how much variety there is in farming just in these few pictures.

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**Beef cows grazing in Northern California**

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**A Rice Field **

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**An Olive Orchard**

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**Sunflowers**

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Filed under: Dairy, Farming, , , , , , , , , , ,

A Dairy with Environmental Integrity

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As a dairyman and a farmer, it’s actually in our best interest to be caretakers of not only our cows, but the environment as well. It’s our job to be good stewards of the environment and we take pride in taking care of the environment around us. The above picture is one of our hay fields.

Many people do not recognize that taking care of the environment is in our best interest, but it actually is. If we are careless towards the environment, it’s not like we can just up and move our farm. We have to take care of the environment because it’s where our family lives.

Dairymen and farmers are often on the forefront of new technologies that can lessen the impact we have on the natural environment. One great example of how our dairy farm is cutting our impact is by using new farming technologies. Better tractor equipment has been developed to allow for more efficient plowing.

No-till and strip-till technology allows us to lessen the amount of work to till or plow the soil. Before, the soil would be worked many times by tractors in order to break up the soil. Now we barely work the soil to plant our crops and it keeps our air cleaner.

No-till and strip-till farming allows the reduction of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, noting that plants store CO2 in the ground. Working the ground releases the CO2 into the atmosphere. Now that we have implemented no-till and strip-till into our farming practices, we are essentially cutting back on the amount of CO2 that is released into the atmosphere during farming. Then when we grow our crops, more CO2 is pulled into the ground. Our fields are in fact air purifiers!   

By implementing this technology into our farming practices, we also cut back on our tractor and fuel usage. Using less fuel definitely helps cut our carbon footprint, and we are definitely using much less fuel on our dairy farm!

As a caretaker of the environment, implementing these new practices into our farm was a logical and easy decision. Using no-till and strip till farming practices on our farm has allowed us to cut back our overall footprint on the environment in order to make for a brighter future for future generations. And we are proud of this fact!

We recently cut our winter crop back in May, and just finished planting our corn in early June. The corn is now starting to come up. We will harvest the corn later this year.

Note the picture below, you can see the remaining roots and stubble from our crop that we harvested last month in May (the brown). Then you can see the corn coming up in the rows! You can see there has been very little plowing or tillage done. Only a small slot so the corn could be planted and take root.

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Crazy Moos

About Crazy Moos

Welcome to the Crazy Moos blog! Crazy Moos is a play on words, basically trying to create a fun environment (crazy) for dairy news (moos). The overall goal of this blog is to communicate “moosworthy information” (newsworthy information) about the dairy industry and important happening on the dairy farm. Hopefully this blog will help people learn about various aspects of the dairy industry and what happens on the dairy farm. Visit regularly for new blog postings!

About Me

I am a 3rd generation dairyman in California, and our dairy farm really is a reflection of the American dream. My grandfather came to America from Europe after World War II in search of greater opportunities, and a safer place to raise a family. He came to America with hardly anything except his exceptional appreciation for hard work. My grandpa after a few years was able to start his own dairy farm and start producing high quality, nutritious milk. In the 70’s, he moved the operation to a more remote area (our current location), and started growing the herd.

Today, I am actively taking part in the farms daily responsibilities. I’m well qualified to be in the dairy industry, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the dairy industry having just graduating college with a degrees in dairy science, and dairy processing.

Many people today believe that the dairy industry has been taken over by large corporate farms, but a recent study done shows that most dairies are family owned. In fact, 99% of dairy farms in California are family owned and operated. My whole family is involved on the dairy. My sisters are caretakers of the baby calves, and we guys take care of the cows. There are eight kids in our family, so the dairy is definitely a family affair!

Milk is one of the world’s most nutritious natural products. So many people today are forgetting that milk is filled with many different nutrients, all combined to work in synergy together to maximize the body’s absorption of these nutrients. It’s the perfect blend of nutrients, in nature’s most natural product.

Milk, it’s a natural product, that’s naturally good for you!

**All Pictures, unless specified otherwise, Copyright © 2011 Crazy Moos. All Rights Reserved**