04-25-17 RMFU: Farmers are Losing Ground, is the State Land Board Listening?

RMFU: Farmers are Losing Ground, is the State Land Board Listening?

The decision by the Colorado State Land Board and Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board to allow a gravel mining operation is “deeply disappointing” according to Dr. Dale McCall, president of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. The proposed gravel mining operation would be located east of Pueblo in the Arkansas River Valley and adjacent to the 1874 Bessemer Ditch.

“Farmers from the area showed up and spoke out about their concerns, yet they were effectively ignored by two state boards that could, and should have, given this more thought,” said McCall. “Farmers from this area have battled this before. It seems the priority is to put future development in front of farm families who have been working hard to make a living from the land for generations.” Continue reading

04-25-17 USDA Secretary Perdue Joins White House “Farmers Roundtable” as President Trump Issues Executive Order on Agriculture

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue joined President Trump for a Farmers Roundtable at the White House to discuss improving American agriculture.

USDA Secretary Perdue Joins White House “Farmers Roundtable” as President Trump Issues Executive Order on Agriculture

(Washington, D.C., April 25, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today joined President Trump for a “Farmers Roundtable” at the White House to address issues facing the American agriculture community, as the president signed an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.  The roundtable discussion allowed representatives from all corners of American agriculture to raise concerns and share ideas, just as the task force begins its mission “to promote economic development and revitalization, job growth, infrastructure, innovation, and quality of life issues for rural America,” according to the president’s order.  The session capped a busy first day in office for Perdue, who was sworn in by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture before greeting employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and travelling to the White House for the roundtable.

“The people who are on the front lines of American agriculture don’t have the luxury of waiting to tend to their crops and livestock, so there was no better time to convene this meeting of the minds than on my first day,” Perdue said.  “President Trump has made it clear that addressing the needs of rural America will be a top priority, and the message that we want to send to the agriculture community is that we are here, we are working hard, and we are on their side.”

Farmers Roundtable Continue reading

04-25-17 Livestock Producers Gather for Colorado Livestock Association Annual Meeting

Nolan Stone, CLA President, addresses the membership at the Colorado’s Finest Celebration, an annual event held in honor of Colorado’s livestock producers and their commitment to providing safe, affordable and wholesome food for the consumer.

Livestock Producers Gather for Colorado Livestock Association Annual Meeting

Greeley, CO – Over 250 producers, industry partners, students, government and agency representatives met at the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) Annual Meeting & Colorado’s Finest Celebration on April 5-6, 2017 at the Embassy Suites in Loveland. CLA’s Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of livestock producers and trade show vendors in Colorado.

CLA Species Councils met to conduct business and discuss issues specific to their industries on Wednesday afternoon. In the evening, members mingled at the Welcome Reception and dined on exceptional cuts of beef, lamb and pork at the Colorado’s Finest Celebration, an annual event held in honor of Colorado’s livestock producers sponsored by Pinnacol Assurance. Continue reading

04-25-17 Food and Conservation Groups Invest in Soil to Sustain Food Production

Food and Conservation Groups Invest in Soil to Sustain Food Production

A national effort to enhance farm sustainability through soil health has additional backing from a major consumer foods manufacturer. Leaders from General Mills, The Nature Conservancy, the Soil Health Institute and the Soil Health Partnership announce a collaborative effort to advance soil health on America’s farms and ranches, paving the way for measurable economic and environmental gains for farmers, businesses and communities for generations to come.

Global populations are expected to grow to more than 9 billion by 2050, doubling the demand for food, fuel and fiber production and placing unprecedented stress on the health and viability of soils. To help ensure soil health, General Mills has made a three-year, $2 million commitment to The Nature Conservancy, Soil Health Institute and Soil Health Partnership to support the development of tools and resources for farmers, landowners, and supply chain leaders to achieve widespread adoption of soil health practices.

“Soil health is critical for everyone including farmers, farm communities, consumers, and companies,” said Jerry Lynch, Chief Sustainability Officer at General Mills. “We are grateful to partner with farmers in our supply chain in their ongoing work to build healthy soils, and welcome further collaboration with all interested parties in the value chain.”

Collaborating across business, science and policy sectors will help achieve meaningful soil health outcomes more quickly and at an unprecedented scale. Specifically, these organizations will partner to: Continue reading

04-25-17 US Senator Bennet Statement Ahead of Antiquities Act Executive Order

US Senator Bennet Statement Ahead of Antiquities Act Executive Order

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement ahead of President Trump’s anticipated Executive Order affecting the Antiquities Act:

“I will oppose any effort to dismantle the Antiquities Act,” Bennet said. “This is yet another example of Washington thinking it knows what’s best for Western communities. In Colorado, we made the case for national monument designations with thorough consultation and strong, bipartisan local support. Coloradans treasure public lands, which help drive our state’s thriving outdoor economy. Protecting these lands is a critical part of the legacy we pass onto future generations.”

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

Grain Elevator

Continue reading

04-25-17 Colorado Lt Governor Donna Lynne completes 64 County Tour…

Colorado Lt Governor Donna Lynne completes 64 County Tour…

(The BARN – Briggsdale, CO) — Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne recently completed  her statewide 64 county tour this week. The tour focused on the “customer experience,” and how residents engage with government across many different services and locations in the state.

Topics included within the interview:

  • 64 County Tour & Lt Gov’s 4 favorite stops
  • Colorado Blueprint 2.0 Initiatives Update 
  • AmeriCorps Update 
  • 2017 FFA Convention : June 13-15 in Pueblo @ CSU
  • 2017 Pedal the Plains – Sep 15-17 thru  Kersey, Keenesburg, and Brush
  • And more…


To learn more about Colorado Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne – CLICK HERE


04-25-17 Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

Sonny Perdue, with his wife Mary, takes the oath of office administered by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas in the U.S. Supreme Court Building, becoming the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Sonny Perdue Sworn in as 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture

(Washington, D.C., April 25, 2017) – Sonny Perdue was sworn in as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture by fellow Georgian and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Clarence Thomas in a brief ceremony today at the Supreme Court building.  The U.S. Senate confirmed Secretary Perdue by a vote of 87-to-11 on Monday evening.  After Secretary Perdue took the oath of office, he addressed employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) before getting to work on his first day.  Also this morning, USDA launched his official Twitter handle: @SecretarySonny.

“The only legacy that I seek is the only one that any grandparent or parent seeks – to be good stewards, and to hand off our nation, our home, our fields, our forests, and our farms to the next generation in better shape than we found it,” Perdue said.  “Making sure that Americans who make their livelihoods in the agriculture industry have the ability to thrive will be one of my top priorities. I am committed to serving the customers of USDA, and I will be an unapologetic advocate for American agriculture.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 25th

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 25th

Senate Confirms Perdue as USDA Secretary

The U.S. Senate Monday evening voted to confirm Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary, just shy of 100 days after his nomination announcement by then President-elect Donald Trump. The Senate voted 87 – 11 to confirm Perdue. The White House said over the weekend Perdue would be sworn in Tuesday and immediately begin work at the Department of Agriculture. Perdue and his family were in the Senate gallery during the vote. The confirmation is a long-awaited win for agriculture and farm groups who are dealing with trade issues with Canada over dairy, disaster relief efforts from plains wildfires, and beginning farm bill talks. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson told the Capital Press the former Georgia Governor will “have some catching up to do.” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, also from Georgia, said in a recent editorial that the vote to confirm Perdue was “overdue,” adding “there’s important work ahead for the agriculture secretary.”


Trump Promises Ag Executive Order Tuesday

The White House over the weekend promised an executive order for agriculture. In a memo to reporters, the White House press office said President Donald Trump would hold a roundtable discussion with farmers on Tuesday, and sign an executive order to protect and provide relief for rural America. Details on the executive order are similar to the Rural Council established by an executive order by President Barack Obama in June 2011, according to DTN-Progressive Farmer. The expected Agriculture and Rural Task Force Executive Order would create an interagency task force to examine the concerns of rural America and suggest legislative and regulatory changes to address those concerns. Even before the Senate confirmation vote, the White House also said Sonny Perdue would be sworn in as Agriculture Secretary Tuesday.


AFBF Labor Expert Taking USDA Post

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s immigration and labor expert is heading to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. AFBF’s director of congressional relations for labor and immigration, Kristi Boswell, will serve as a senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Boswell starts next month at USDA and Politico reports she will be working on labor and immigration issues. Boswell is a registered lobbyist and under Trump administration rules, may require a waiver to work on any issues that she previously lobbied on. Boswell grew up on a farm in southeastern Nebraska where her family raised corn and soybeans, according to AFBF.  Before joining USDA and AFBF, Boswell practiced corporate defense litigation in Nebraska and worked as a political aide for a Nebraska state senator.


U.S., EU, Opening Door to TTIP Talks

The European Union and the United States could soon be reviving negotiations of the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross over the weekend told the Financial Times reducing the trans-Atlantic trade deficit in goods is a top priority. The $146 billion trans-Atlantic trade deficit is only second to China’s $347 billion deficit. Ross was hosting the European Union’s trade commissioner Monday to discuss how to proceed with TTIP talks that were launched under the Obama administration. Politics, negotiations and the United Kingdom vote to leave the EU stalled the talks. But the talks will likely remain stalled as Germany has an upcoming election in September, and Ross said the first priority of the U.S. regarding trade is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. Ross expects a NAFTA agreement will be reached by mid-2018.


Syngenta Corn Lawsuits Underway

The first of several lawsuits filed against Syngenta is underway. Syngenta is facing dozens of lawsuits that claim a move by the company depressed corn prices in 2013. The farmers involved claim Syngenta’s selling of a corn trait that was not approved to export to China, and found in shipments of U.S. corn to China, depressed U.S. corn prices and cost farmers millions of dollars in lost sales, according to Bloomberg News. Syngenta denies that China’s rejection of its GMO seeds harmed farmers in any way, saying it was the huge corn crop in 2013 that pushed prices lower. In June, Syngenta faces trial in a class-action lawsuit brought by Kansas farmers seeking $200 million, plus punitive damages. Another trial involving Minnesota farmers claiming $600 million in damages is set for August. Winning the lawsuit may be a tough sell, according to an ag-policy expert, who said the company had a green light from U.S. regulators to sell the GMO corn and there was no requirement to wait for Chinese officials’ approval to market the trait to U.S. farmers. A lawyer for Syngenta called the claims “speculative, at best.”


NFU President Attends March for Science in D.C.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson spoke to thousands attending the Washington, D.C. March for Science over the weekend that also included former Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Johnson spoke at the flagship march held in Washington, D.C., saying: “Farmers Union members are acutely aware of the important roles that science and science-based policies play in the success of American family farm operations.” Johnson says that by joining the March for Science movement, he hoped to “to highlight the need for life sciences research, science-informed policy, and effective communication of the latest advancements in science and technology.” Johnson called on the federal government to base policy on sound science and facts, noting that family farm operations are heavily impacted by federal policy. Johnson also said there should be more publicly funded, independent and peer-reviewed agricultural research to inform both farmers and policymakers. More than 70 percent of U.S. agricultural research is financed through private dollars. In a news release, Johnson noted that other Farmers Union leaders participated in marches in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


04-24-17 Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

NRCS-CO News Release HEader 010816Conservation Volunteers Honored During National Volunteer Week

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is celebrating National Volunteer Week April 23-29, 2017 by thanking and honoring its Earth Team volunteers for their service to conservation.

Earth Team is the agency’s volunteer workforce, and nationally, in fiscal year 2016, more than 28,500 people donated 3012,219 hours of service to NRCS valued at over $7.1 million. Continue reading

04-24-17 USMEF Statement on Senate Confirmation of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

USMEF News Header

USMEF Statement on Senate Confirmation of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

April 24, 2017 – Today, on a vote of 87 to 11, the United States Senate confirmed former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as the new U.S. secretary of agriculture. U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng issued the following statement:

USMEF is pleased to see Secretary Perdue receive such strong, bipartisan support in the Senate, and we look forward to working with him to promote U.S. red meat products worldwide. Secretary Perdue’s track record as governor and his recent testimony before the Senate leave no doubt that he understands the important role of international trade in enhancing the profitability of U.S. livestock producers and the entire U.S. supply chain, and that he is very committed to expanding U.S. exports. This is a critical and rather uncertain time for agricultural trade, and USMEF is confident that Secretary Perdue will be a champion for U.S. agriculture and will help the Trump administration build strong relationships with key trading partners. Continue reading

04-24-17 NMPF Statement on Senate Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

NMPF Statement on Senate Confirmation of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, NMPF

ARLINGTON, VA – “We congratulate Secretary Sonny Perdue on his confirmation by the Senate today, and we’re eager to work with him on the challenges facing the nation’s dairy farmers – issues he’s already indicated he will tackle at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Secretary Perdue knows that dairy farmers depend on export markets around the world and closer to home, which is why it is important for USDA to insist on preserving market access to key customers in Mexico, and demand that Canada plays by the international trade rules to which it has already agreed.  Continue reading

04-24-17 NPPC: Perdue ‘Very Good’ For U.S. Agriculture


NPPC: Perdue ‘Very Good’ For U.S. Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2017 – Calling him “very good for America’s farmers and ranchers,” the National Pork Producers Council congratulated former Georgia Gov. George “Sonny” Perdue on his confirmation today by the U.S. Senate as the new Secretary of Agriculture.

“Sonny Perdue is the kind of leader the pork industry, and the entire livestock industry, needs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. “He’ll be very good for America’s farmers and ranchers.” Continue reading

04-24-17 NCGA Welcomes Sonny Perdue to USDA

NCGA News Release logo

NCGA Welcomes Sonny Perdue to USDA

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2017) – Today the United States Senate voted to confirm Sonny Perdue as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:

“The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Secretary Perdue on his confirmation. USDA has been without a Secretary for too long, but we are confident that Secretary Perdue will bring strong leadership to the Department. There are still more than 200 political appointments at USDA that have yet to be made. We strongly urge the Administration to move quickly in filling these positions. Continue reading

04-24 NFU Statement on Sonny Perdue’s Confirmation as Agriculture Secretary

NFU Statement on Sonny Perdue’s Confirmation as Ag Secretary

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today confirmed former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson released the following statement in response to the announcement:

“Having endured months of the current farm crisis and drastic policy changes in Washington without a Secretary of Agriculture, family farmers and ranchers are relieved that Sonny Perdue has finally been confirmed to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture. We are hopeful Perdue will provide rural America with a strong voice in Washington. NFU stands ready to assist the new Secretary as he navigates the myriad issues facing family agriculture and rural communities. Continue reading



WASHINGTON, April 24, 2017 The National Association of Conservation Districts congratulates Secretary Sonny Perdue on his confirmation as head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.

Former Georgia Governor Perdue is the third agriculture secretary in the history of USDA to live and work on a farm as an adult. NACD has supported his nomination since it was first announced by President Donald Trump in January.

“As governor, he oversaw the economy of one of the top agricultural states in this nation,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “He has a proven track record for effective governing and a reputation as a dedicated public servant. NACD appreciated his endorsement of voluntary conservation in this nomination hearing and look forward to working with him, now and throughout his tenure, to advance the adoption of voluntary conservation on working lands across this country.” Continue reading

04-24-17 ACE News: Biofuels Stakeholders Issue Statement on Oral Arguments for 2014-2016 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs)

Biofuels Stakeholders Issue Statement on Oral Arguments for 2014-2016 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs)


Sioux Falls, SD (April 24, 2017) – In response to oral arguments held earlier today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on the petition for review of the Renewable Volume Obligations for 2014-2016 filed by Americans for Clean Energy, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January 2016, the American Coalition for Ethanol, BIO, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Sorghum Producers, and Renewable Fuels Association issued the following statement: Continue reading

04-24-17 USCA Welcomes Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue


USCA Welcomes Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

(WASHINGTON) –United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner issued the following statement on the confirmation of Sonny Perdue to the position of Secretary of Agriculture:

“On behalf of the USCA membership, and cattle producers across the country, we wish to officially welcome Sonny Perdue as the Secretary of Agriculture.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 24th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 24th

NAFTA Talks Not Happening Soon

President Donald Trump says the White House will offer some preliminary plans on the possible renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement sometime within the next two weeks. While he didn’t get more specific than that, Politico’s Morning Agriculture report adds that a White House spokesman says the Administration is currently working on negotiating text with Congress. The White House will then proceed with the required 90-day notice to Congress once a U.S. Trade Representative is confirmed. Robert Lighthizer is the nominee for the position but his confirmation is being held up because of past work he’s done representing foreign governments in Washington, D.C. Democrats say he needs a waiver approved by both the House and Senate to be confirmed, while the White House says he doesn’t. Before the letter can be sent to Congress, the White House must complete a series of meetings with groups of lawmakers, one of which is the Senate Advisory Group on Negotiations. Democrats on the panel are refusing to meet with anyone but Lighthizer. As a result, Politico says it’s looking like the nominee will have to get the waiver, clear a committee vote, and then get the full Senate vote for confirmation. All that means the two-week timeline is more than a little uncertain.


Renewable Fuels Standard Heads to Court

The Environmental Protection Agency will be in Washington D.C. Circuit court starting Monday (April 24) as the court hears oral challenges to the 2014-2016 Renewable Fuels Standard Volumes. Politico’s Morning Energy Report says the RFS has supporters and detractors in both major political parties, so this case represents a rare nonpartisan issue for the EPA. The agency will have to defend itself against accusations that it set volumes for conventional biofuels, cellulosic biofuels, and biomass biodiesel too high or too low, depending on who’s speaking at the time in the courtroom. The EPA will need to defend its waiver to set the conventional biofuel requirements below congressionally-set levels. The EPA will also argue it’s under no obligation to change who must comply with the program. EPA’s positions in this case maximize administrative flexibility for the agency, something that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt likely wants to preserve. The Morning Energy Report also stressed that this isn’t an issue that began when Donald Trump was elected as it’s been a debate for years.


Farm Lending Continues to Moderate

Lending activity at agricultural banks across the country continued to decline in the first quarter of 2017. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says economic conditions in the farm sector are still weak, so borrowers and lenders have worked together to make adjustments in financing agricultural production across America. Ag lenders are making more adjustments to loan terms because of heightened risk in the ag sector. For example, the report says revenues from agricultural production are expected to decline again in 2017. Farm incomes from corn, soybeans, wheat, and cattle, are expected to drop by five percent compared to 2016. Some producers are making adjustments in the cost of their inputs when they can. The reduced amount of producer spending likely has contributed to reductions in the volume of new farm loans. The overall volume of non-real estate farm loans in the first quarter of this year dropped 16 percent from 2016. The Survey of Terms of Bank Lending to Farmers showed the decrease in the first quarter as the sixth consecutive year-over-year decline in the volume of new non-real estate farm loans and followed a significant drop in the fourth quarter of 2016.


Buffet Foundation/Drovers to Raise $2 Million for Wildfire Relief

Drovers, a Farm Journal Media franchise, and the Drovers Foundation have accepted a challenge from philanthropist and American farmer-rancher Howard G. Buffet to raise $2 million for wildfire relief. Last month saw devastating wildfires burn 1.6 million acres in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Starting now, all monetary donations to the Drovers/Farm Journal Million Dollar Wildfire Relief Challenge will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, up to $1 million. Howard Buffet says, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime disaster that’s left ranchers with both immediate and long-term needs to rebuild what they’ve lost. We are pleased to partner with Drovers and the Farm Journal Foundation in this recovery effort and hope our matching contribution pledge will inspire others to show their support.” While the ag community rallied to deliver hay and other in-kind contributions, the long-term job of rebuilding is really just beginning. For example, roughly 18,000 miles of fencing needs to be rebuilt, likely at a cost of $10,000 a mile. All donations will be administered by the Working Ranch Cowboys Association, a respected nonprofit dedicated to assisting working ranch cowboys and their families in time of need. For more information on recovery efforts, check out Wildfire Relief Fund Dot Org.


Another Farm Credit System Merger Takes Place

Two Farm Credit organizations serving the upper midwest will join together after both received stockholder approval. AgCountry Farm Credit Services and United FCS serve farmers in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, but now become AgCountry Farm Credit Services beginning on July first. The headquarters will be in Fargo, North Dakota, with the Association serving 18,000 customer-members and have nearly $7.2 billion in assets. It will operate in 65 counties with 38 offices spread out through Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. “We believed that the culture, values, and vision of both cooperatives made this a natural fit,” says Greg Nelson and Brad Sunderland, who serve as board chairs for Ag Country and United FCS, respectively. They both thanked stockholders in each organization for participating in the voting process and for recognizing that the merger would better help both organizations serve agriculture and rural America more efficiently. “Since merger discussions began last year, our goal has been to build on the strengths of both organizations to best serve the needs of our members,” says Bob Bahl, AgCountry CEO. “In merging these two associations, we are positioned for even greater success and a strong, bright future.” 


Salad Shortage Because of California Rains

Over the last several years, California farmers have been plagued by drought. However, the problem in 2017 is too much rain, which may be putting a squeeze on the nation’s salad supplies. A Bloomberg report says it may take until sometime in May before the nation’s grocery store shelves are fully stocked with salads again. Unusually warm weather meant an early end to the winter growing season in southern California and western Arizona. The warm weather was followed by unusually heavy rains that pushed back planting dates along the coastal areas of California, which is the largest fruit and vegetable producer in the country. The delays have led to shortfalls of crops like lettuce and broccoli, sending wholesale prices much higher. For example, the cost of a carton of 30 celery heads has almost tripled to $25. A senior produce analyst with Rabobank in Fresno, California, says prices may remain volatile and “relatively elevated” through mid-May

SOURCE: NAFB News Service