Cary Blake

Cary
Blake
Associate Editor,
Western Farm Press

Cary Blake, associate editor with Western Farm Press, has 32 years experience as an agricultural journalist. Blake covered Midwest agriculture for 25 years on a statewide farm radio network and through television stories that blanketed the nation.
 
Blake travelled West in 2003. Today he reports on production agriculture in Arizona and California. He also covers New Mexico and West Texas agriculture for Southwest Farm Press.
 
Blake is a native Mississippian, graduate of Mississippi State University, and a former Christmas tree grower.

Articles
Best 2016 alfalfa grower prices in higher-quality hay

Respected California market specialist Seth Hoyt doesn’t scratch his head much. Yet with the many complicated issues facing the western alfalfa industry, he and others are uncertain over where hay prices will head in 2016.

“The outlook for (2016) alfalfa hay prices is the hardest to predict in the 45 years I’ve been associated with the (western) alfalfa industry,” says Hoyt, editor of The Hoyt Report newsletter.

California almond industry to accelerate innovation, sustainability

A major new strategic effort designed to make the almond industry even more efficient and sustainable was announced Dec. 9 by the Almond Board of California (ABC).

Through the Accelerated Innovation Management (AIM) effort, the ABC will accelerate its investment in sustainability plus almond tree and farming research.

In addition, ABC will increase efforts to develop new partnerships and collaborations to drive four major initiatives to move the entire industry forward, says Richard Waycott, the ABC’s president and chief executive officer.

Transplants could shift some lettuce production from Huron, Calif. to low desert 1

The effects of the four-year drought continues to rock California’s bread-and-butter – the agricultural industry.  

Due to water troubles, the drought could force some late summer lettuce production to shift from the Huron area in Fresno County to the south in the winter desert vegetable production areas in southernmost Imperial County and neighboring Yuma County, Ariz.

Ruthann Anderson to assume CAPCA helm on Jan. 1

Ruthann Anderson will assume the helm as president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Anderson current serves as CAPCA’s director of development.

According to a statement, CAPCA’s Executive Committee believes Anderson is the right fit to move CAPCA forward based on her knowledge and experience.

Rogers ready to tap experience to lead American Farm Bureau 2

Arizona farmer Kevin Rogers spent the busy morning taking care of pigs with his young adult children.

By early afternoon, he donned a blue sports coat, pink shirt, green tie, and a Stetson cowboy hat for an interview to share his dream to become the next president of the nation’s largest farm organization – the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

UC ANR YouTube alfalfa video an ESA finalist

A University of California, Davis-produced YouTube video on alfalfa integrated pest management was judged a finalist in competition at the 2015 national Entomological Society of America annual meeting held in Minneapolis, Minn. in November.

The alfalfa IPM YouTube video is titled the “Identification of parasitized alfalfa caterpillars and armyworms,” which shows how to monitor alfalfa insect pests and natural enemies to help make informed management decisions on pest control in alfalfa production.

Gallery: Who's who at Western Plant Health Association annual meeting

Farm chemical company members of the Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) gathered in October for the association's 2015 annual meeting. A large focus of the WPHA meeting focused on finding common ground with consumers on the importance of crop protection productions for a healthy and safe food supply.

Enjoy these people photos from the WPHA event.

 

 

Anti-farming activists reason, protest to different drum 1

The western most state of Hawaii has more than its fair share of disgruntled activists who adamantly oppose and protest the use of genetic engineering (GMOs) in agriculture, pesticide use in farm fields, and in other businesses.

Gaining a better understanding of anti-agriculture activists and how to positively respond to their shenanigans was the theme of discussion during the 2015 Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) annual meeting held on the island of Maui, Hawaii in October.

FMSA final produce rule draws pro-con reactions

The Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 13 released its much-anticipated final rule detailing preventive standards for farms which grow, harvest, pack, or hold covered produce for human consumption.

The new rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register around Nov. 27.  

The rule, authorized under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), comes after significant public outreach and two rounds of public comments on certain key provisions, and follows the recent publication of the final rule governing food facilities.

Agriculture a BUSY place in winter vegetable country

On October 28, I hit the road in the Phoenix area for a drive through through winter vegetable country in Yuma County on my way to Imperial, Calif. for the Western Farm Press-sponsored Fall Desert Crops Workshop scheduled the next day.

I left early for the trip to travel through the winter vegetable production areas in Arizona's Mohawk and Wellton Valleys in Yuma County to see the fields, plants, machinery, and busyness of this major winter veggie growing area.

Rea family shifts from auto parts to extra virgin olive oil

Arizona olive grower Perry Rea wears a headful of hats – farmer, owner, master blender, sommelier, irrigator, quality inspector, and many more - pretty good for a first generation agricultural producer.

About a dozen years ago, Rea sold his successful auto part supply business providing original brake lines and such for the Big Three automakers in Detroit, plus Mercedes and Nissan, to pursue a new venture linked to his Italian heritage – the olive oil business.

Storm microburst demolishes 17 Calcot cotton warehouses in Arizona

A powerful weather event called a microburst demolished 17 warehouses and damaged 21 remaining structures at Calcot Limited’s cotton facility in Glendale, Ariz. (Phoenix area) on Oct. 18.

The extent of the damage at the Calcot site was so significant that the City of Glendale issued an “unsafe to occupy” notice on the 70-acre parcel until further investigation. Glendale ordered Calcot staff to vacate its office by Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.

Calcot appealed the order to allow essential staff to work.

Gallery: YCEDA 'hot shot team' approach to pursue faster solutions to desert agriculture's challenges

A new innovative and entrepreneurial research center created by the University of Arizona (UA) aims to solve the most pressing problems facing desert agriculture…faster.

Targeted issues in the crosshairs for the new Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture will focus on a wide variety of desert agriculture issues, including crop protection, sustainability through production efficiencies and yield maximization, water, labor, food safety, economic and environmental challenges, and more. 

YCEDA 'hot shot teams' seek faster solutions for desert agriculture

A new innovative and entrepreneurial research center created by the University of Arizona (UA) aims to solve the most pressing problems facing desert agriculture…faster.

Targeted issues in the crosshairs for the new Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) will focus on a wide variety of desert agriculture issues, including crop protection, sustainability through production efficiencies and yield maximization, water, labor, food safety, economic and environmental challenges, and more. 

Hurdles outnumber bright spots on cotton’s horizon

A runner in a hurdles race must jump and clear multiple obstacles to finish a race - much less win. The U.S. cotton industry continues to face its own challenges with no finish line in sight.

Among cotton’s high hurdles include lackluster fiber prices, low price challenges from cotton’s top competitor - polyester, and huge cotton stockpiles in China, says Jarral Neeper, president of the Calcot Limited cotton cooperative based in Bakersfield, Calif.

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