Federal budgetary appropriations and policies are important to farming success, so it is wise to learn about them from the beginning of an agriculture career, writes Markie Hageman of Fort Hays State University. Hageman explains the how the farm bill is structured, the process for developing legislation and the proportion devoted to crop insurance.
The La Nina weather phenomenon is likely to create drier than typical weather in the South this year and a wetter winter than usual in the Northern US, according to Mike Halpert of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The rest of the nation will have "an equal chance for above-, near- or below-normal temperatures," predicts NOAA.
The US Drought Monitor reports drought conditions in 60.93% of the US, with most of the affected areas at the D0 status of "abnormally dry," the least severe of four levels. The likelihood of "above-normal" precipitation is increasing except in the desert Southwest, said Brian Fuchs of the National Drought Migration Center.
Farms have grown bigger and the need to manage them with a more business-oriented mindset has increased, writes Darren Frye of Water Street Solutions. Consider consulting a farm business professional, he advises, and keep an open attitude toward change.
Supermarket chains such as Trader Joe's, Costco and ALDI are helping to build the momentum for private label wine, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association. National chains that have invested in private label wine have helped to make the supermarket a place where more than $10 billion in wine is sold, said PLMA President Brian Sharoff.
Oregon is developing a sparkling wine niche that will rival its strong reputation for pinot noir, Joseph V. Micallef writes. Winemakers such as Argyle Winery and Soter Vineyards have helped the state become the fourth-largest US producer of bubbly, he writes.
Several liquor store owners in Minnesota say they have received little benefit from the change in laws that allowed them to open on Sundays because of the added costs. "We generate hardly any new sales," said Dan Condon, owner of United Liquors in Bloomington.
A plan by the Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to end the limits on the number of liquor licenses available for both retail and bar locations has drawn criticism. The state allows only a certain number of liquor licenses based on an area's population.
Citrus growers are seeing strong demand for fruit this year, with volumes from Texas, California and Florida expected to be down over last year, according to the Agriculture Department. "Volume has been a little lighter this year compared to average years, but the quality has been outstanding," said Dante Galeazzi, president of the Texas International Produce Association.
Sandwich chain Jimmy John's pulled sprouts from the menu at all 2,727 of its restaurants on Friday, after the sprouts linked to a salmonella outbreak in Wisconsin and Illinois were traced back to two growers in Minnesota. Eight illnesses have been tied to the product.