California Sunflower Concerns and Trevino's USTR Nomination
**Growers in California are beginning plantings of sunflowers this month amid major uncertainty over the impacts the Russian invasion of Ukraine will have on markets for seeds and sunflower oil.
Russia and Ukraine are the world’s top two producers of sunflowers, owning 55% of global acreage.
As a result, the sunflower market is now heated, but it’s uncertain whether California growers can meet demand while dealing with drought, water shortages and limited milling capacity.
**Elaine Trevino, the Biden Administration nominee to serve as Chief Ag Negotiator, is taking a non-political appointment in the administration, and as a result, the White House withdrew her nomination to the trade post at the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, of Oregon, says, “I urge the White House to quickly announce a new nominee.”
Farm groups welcomed her nomination last year, noting the work much-needed in agriculture trade.
**The organic industry’s State of Organic Seeds report shows no meaningful improvement in organic producers using more organic seed compared to five years ago.
The report concludes the lack of progress puts at risk the viability of the organic seed industry and the integrity of the organic label.
The organic food market experienced incredible growth in 2020, with sales surpassing $56 billion, a 12 percent increase from 2019.