It isn't just grain...

Hi, All,
Here are, verbatim from Dept. of Agriculture releases, a couple of 
summaries of the bigger food picture for 1996. There is a reason for 
those prices at the fresh foods counter. Please note that this is only 
for 1996. These summaries do not take into account recent flooding in 
California's agricultural valleys where much of our current fresh food 
is coming from...Geri Guidetti, The Ark Institute

                      Noncitrus Fruits and Nuts				
                      1996 Preliminary Summary
Apple production for 1996 was estimated at 10.4 billion pounds, 1 
percent less than 1995 and 9 percent below 1994.  A 13 percent increase 
in apple production in Washington and a 6 percent increase in California 
was not enough to offset drops in Michigan and New York.  Quality was 
excellent in Washington, but fruit size was generally smaller than a 
year ago.  In Michigan, poor sizing resulted from the near drought 
conditions in August 1996.
Utilized grape production for 1996 totaled 5.53 million tons, down 6 
percent from 1995 and down 6 percent from 1994.  California production 
declined 4 percent from last year.  California wine type showed the 
biggest decrease at 8 percent from a year ago, while raisin type 
decreased only 2 percent. Washington and Michigan production decreased 
while New York and Pennsylvaniaincreased from a year ago.
Peach production was set at 2.07 billion pounds, down 10 percent from 
last year and 18 percent below 1994.  The California crop, accounting 
for 83 percent of the U.S. peach crop, was up from 59 percent in 1995.  
Freeze damage totally destroyed the crop in Oklahoma and contributed to 
Georgia and South Carolina growers getting less than 10 percent of their 
1995 crop. Pear production was placed at 778,750 tons, down 18 percent 
from 1995. Of the major pear-producing states, California was up 7 
percent from last year while Oregon was down 26 percent and Washington 
was down 30 percent.
        Nut Production Increases 3 Percent, Value Down 3 Percent
The 1996 U.S. nut production (in-shell basis) increased 3 percent to
837,900 tons.  California almond production totaled 520 million meat 
pounds, 41 percent above the 1995 total.  Hawaii macadamia nut 
production climbed to a record high 55.0 million pounds, up 8 percent 
from the previous year. California walnut production decreased 12 
percent to 205,000 tons.  California pistachio production was estimated 
at 106 million pounds, a decrease of 28 percent from a year ago.  U.S. 
pecan production fell to 227 million pounds, down 15 percent from last 
year.  Hazelnut production totaled 19,000 tons, less
than half of 1995's output.  This was the smallest crop since 1989.
Build Your Ark! How to Prepare for Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times...
Book I: Food Self-Sufficiency   http://www.lis.ab.ca/walton/geri.html
Grain Supply Updates:  http://www.lis.ab.ca/walton/geri1.html
Ark's Self-Sufficiency and Survival Gardening Seminars in the U.S.;Email