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Audio ActualityOptimism for the future by young farmers and ranchers
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» March 10, 2009 «
America's young farmers and ranchers express a high level of optimism about agriculture and say they are better off than they were five years ago. Those are the general findings of the American Farm Bureau Federation's 17th annual young farmer and rancher survey. The men and women ages 18 through 35 ranked their top concerns as the availability of land and facilities, overall profitability and economic challenges. They express optimism even as a government forecast predicts a 20-percent decline in farm income this year.
Consumers who love California navel oranges can count on finding them in retail stores through June, according to California Citrus Mutual. Even though the crop is lighter than last year, there are enough oranges in later varieties to keep stores supplied. Quality of both navel oranges and Clementines is reported as good to excellent. The Clementine season will end in May—a bit sooner than navel oranges. Oranges usually bloom from mid-April to mid-May even as workers continue to pick this year's fruit.
Country-of-origin labeling goes into effect next Monday (March 16). But, the Department of Agriculture is asking food processors to go beyond what is required on a voluntary basis. For example, while products can be grouped under a mixed-origin label such as "Product of Canada, Mexico and the USA," it is suggested processors add what production step occurred in each country. The department plans to monitor what processors do voluntarily and may modify the rule if there is little compliance.Top