Sun Belt Ag Expo and Inflation Hits Organic Fresh Produce
**Students from colleges and high schools across the southeast competed for cash prizes at last week’s Sun Belt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia.
The Georgia Farm Bureau partners with the expo to sponsor the Advocacy in Action competition.
The team from the University of Georgia won the collegiate division, and Morgan County High School won the high school division.
**A new study on lettuce production indicates California’s farm output would shrink, and food prices would rise without commonly used pesticides like pyrethroids and neonicotinoids.
ERA Economics found growing costs for lettuce farmers would increase by as much as $290 per acre if they have to resort to alternative crop protection materials.
The ban for California’s $2 billion annual lettuce crop would increase farmers’ production costs by more than 12%
and lettuce prices could jump by up to 8.2%.
California produces three-fourths of the nation’s lettuce.
**Ongoing inflation resulted in higher retail prices of organic fresh produce during the third quarter.
The Organic Produce Network says that generated a 4.1% increase in total organic dollars but also contributed to a decline of 4.5% in organic volume compared to the same period last year.
Overall, organic fresh produce per pound prices increased 8.9%.
Conventional produce increased more than 10%.