Nostalgia drives local projects; falling prices for some agricultural products | John Lindt | business


Three Tulare County projects resurrect images from the past that the locals don’t want you to forget. They can also be useful for business.

In Exeter, the Kiwanis club wants to build a sign that reads “Welcome to Exeter” on one side and “Gateway to the Redwoods” on the other, according to a local newspaper. It will be supported by two large wind turbine towers and will be similar to the original sign designed in 1914. It will be located at the intersection of Pine and B streets.

In Visalia, developer Johnny George plans to build a full-size replica of Mearle’s Drive-In next to Mooney Grove that will be a throwback to the era of carhops and tall malted milk.

In downtown Visalia, the former Plunkett Coin store – Main Street Coin Company – is a landmark in itself, now closed, to be replaced by a cinnamon bun store. But locals want to keep the familiar 1920s Main Street clock that stands at the entrance to the store.

City Councilman Steve Nelsen pledges to keep the clock running and a landmark for downtown. It was manufactured by the Brown Street Clock Company in Pennsylvania.

The best price for tomatoes

This season, processors are offering the best price for processing tomatoes, Kings County’s main crop. The producers’ association’s Thanksgiving offerings range from $120 to $145 per ton, with a base price of $130 per ton. Last year, producers received $105 per ton.

Smaller raisin crop

Raisin farmers are hoping to harvest 200,000 tons this year after the September heat cut crops. Prices are in the range of $1700 per ton.

Foster Farms plans to open a local ranch

The new owners of Foster Farms from the Valley have set about opening a broiler farm near Kent Avenue in Kings County. The Community Development Agency is processing an application for a poultry farm for 387,652 or fewer turkeys. The existing facility is currently closed.

Egg prices down

After the holiday peak, egg prices tend to decline. Wholesale egg prices are down more than $1 a dozen since hitting a record average daily price in the week leading up to Christmas, USDA economists said. Egg prices in California have fallen 11% since mid-January to $5.97 a dozen. They hit $7.37 on Jan. 3 as a result of an egg shortage, due in part to bird flu.

Falling milk prices – good news or bad?

Milk prices are down from 2022, when Kings dairies received the highest prices for their milk since 2014. But like many other products right now, prices are coming down in the new year. Dairy operators saw milk for $25 last spring, but now the USDA is predicting that Grade 111 milk will be around $18.85 this spring.

Local processors produce a lot of skimmed milk powder, and the price of this item is now about $1.17 per 100 pounds, compared to $1.86 last summer. Skimmed milk powder is mainly exported, and China plans to import much less this year. Consumers will no doubt welcome lower prices for everything from milk to bacon. Of course, everyone wants inflation to slow down. But farmers want to see cost reductions as they get less for their produce.

At the very least, it looks like a good water year for a change, and the ranchers are celebrating too. Corn prices have declined since last spring from $8 to $6.80. Fertilizer prices have dropped significantly since hitting records in 2022 as the cost of natural gas has declined. The price is half what it was last spring. But labor costs are unlikely to fall much. Voters will now decide whether California fast food workers should be paid more.

fast food vote

A California law aimed at raising wages and improving working conditions for fast food workers has been sidelined after California certified a petition organized by restaurants that will try to repeal it by voting next year.

Kings County Leaves Cal Vans

This week, the Kings County Association of Governments voted to leave the Vanpool California Office, or CalVans, this summer. CalVans would like to stay, the agency said in a letter, noting that they spend most of their $15 million budget in Kings County and 75% of its employees live here. There are 26 vans operating here, but KCAG member Doug Verbun says the area has the best van operators offering service.

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