Cold Snap & Warning Labels

Cold Snap & Warning Labels

Cold Snap & Warning Labels plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Temperatures in Eastern Washington have been moderating into the 50‘s the last few days but unusually cold nights in the San Joaquin Valley of California are beginning to take their toll on citrus crops.  Joel Nelson of California Citrus Mutual says smaller varieties of oranges are starting to see some damage.

NELSON: It’s going to take a while to access that damage and what the industries going to have to do is ensure that they only pack the best quality fruit, eliminate that that’s been damaged so we can maintain the integrity of that commodity. It’s been, as we call it, a hot commodity throughout the country. People really enjoy that small tangerine variety fruit and we don’t want to hurt ourselves by sending out fruit that’s inferior quality.

Back in June the FDA announced it would be adding new graphic labels to cigarette packages and those labels will begin appearing in September of next year. Tobacco companies are not happy with the new labels. Idaho is one of 24 states supporting the FDA's effort. On December 23, the Idaho Attorney General's office filed a friend of the court brief in support of the FDA's appeal, saying the federal government should be allowed to require the labels for the "lethal and addictive" products.  Twenty-three other states were included in the brief.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

2011 has been an interesting year for the ag industry. It’s hard to narrow it down to the top news stories of the year, but here are a few. Mother Nature was even more fickle than usual causing frustration and grief for crop farmers across the country. If they weren’t up to their belt buckles in flood water, they were trying to avoid drying up and blowing away due to persistent draught. On the upside, pork producers made a comeback this year, plus the beef market spent much of 2011 trending higher. Even with all the extreme weather inflicted by Mother Nature crop profits were higher this year, but then so were input costs. Big news this past year revolved around high farm land values and the influence that’s had on farmers finding alternative ways to acquire and hang onto farm land. Of course the safety of the American food supply continued to dominate headlines, and First Lady Michelle Obama with the USDA unveiled the new MyPlate, replacing the Food Pyramid. And don’t forget, the Congressional Super Committee failed to come up with a deficit cutting plan. That just scratches the surface of what went on in 2011, but hey it’s time to ring in 2012. Bring it on!

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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