On the flip side is the grape and raisin industry, which for three years now has been looking for ways to relieve the pressure of burdensome oversupply.
Now, overproduction is claiming yet another victim in the agriculture sector…the grape industry. Low prices have plagued grape farmers for the past three years, yet production has been on the increase. This year, despite unharvested acres and payouts by the raisin industry to cut back or even remove vines, grape production will increase by seven to eight percent over 2001. The laden vines have brought hard times. Some producers are taking losses on every acre and finding additional work to make ends meet.
The industry is now turning to the federal government for help. The U-S Department of Agriculture already has plans to buy more than 55 million dollars of nuts and dried fruits for foreign aid and school lunch programs. Producers hope the U-S-D-A will act on an additional proposal to buy extra raisins and grape juice made from Thompson grapes.