Specialty Crops

While the trade war with China claims headlines, India’s tariffs on U.S. exports will soon be felt by producers of apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts. 

On February 7th 2019, the US Department of Commerce announced plans to withdraw on May 7th from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico.

The implications of a food recall or advisory can be enormous, and if a company is found to be the source, reputational damage on top of the other costs can be game-ending.

Media coverage would lead one to believe that food safety incidences have been increasing. However, there has not been an increase in food related outbreaks in recent years.

American Pima cotton is an extra-long staple cotton grown primarily in California. It is used as an input in premium textiles that are often manufactured abroad and ultimately shipped back to the U.S. in the form of high-end clothing and bedding.

Interest, innovation, and investment in gene editing tools like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and TALEN® (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) have heated up in recent years, and will only intensify in 2019.

Domestic orange production has been declining steadily over the last two decades, driven largely by dwindling crops in Florida.

Urban vertical farms and other forms of CEA have received a lot of press lately as these crop production systems have become more prevalent. The industry has been expanding rapidly since the late 1990s, with the pace of growth picking up in recent years as technology has evolved.
Sales of organic produce (fruits, vegetables and nuts) have increased dramatically in recent years; so much so that nearly 15 percent of all retail produce sales in the U.S. are now organic. In 2016, sales of organic produce accounted for 40 percent of all organic food sales, totaling $15.6 billion – an increase of 8.4 percent over 2015.
At present, the cranberry market is oversupplied; and the industry is facing major headwinds at all levels of the supply chain, marring the anniversary of its 200th year of commercial production.
Florida’s citrus industry is in a fight for survival. For the past decade, this industry has been under attack by a disease known to scientists as Huanglongbing (HLB), but more commonly known as citrus greening.
The U.S. tree nut industry will face several headwinds, including the strong U.S. dollar, a huge increase in supply, water difficulties, a tepid global economy, and increased global competition – all of which point to reduced profitability.
The objective of this in-brief report is to outline the key issues and concerns that swirl around GMOs. The intent is not to stake out a position for or against GMOs or related issues, but rather to outline the facts and foster a better understanding of the two dueling points of view.
Bolstered by strong marketing by industry groups, an increase in almond tree plantings and steadily increasing yields, almond production has been expanding to keep up with swelling domestic and foreign demand.
Beginning in 2006, beekeepers in the U.S. experienced a sharp, mysterious increase in honey bee hive losses. This problem has persisted and has come to be known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Agriculturalists are gravely concerned about CCD. Nearly one out of every three bites of the American diet is the result of a pollinator’s handiwork.
In 2008, a specific brand of peanut butter used as an ingredient by many of the nation’s largest food manufacturers was identified as the likely source of a salmonella outbreak that led to one of the largest, most complex, and costliest food recalls in U.S. history.
Citrus greening results from Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) infestation and threatens the major citrus producing regions of the U.S., including Florida, California, and other southern states. There is currently no known treatment for the disease, so current strategies focus on controlling or eliminating the vector (ACP).