9-27 AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Three California farmers, whose farms or ranches have been in their families for more than a century, went to Washington D.C. as part of a Farm Bureau delegation seeking congressional support for estate tax reform.

Legislation has been introduced that would exempt farms and ranches from the estate tax as long as they remain in agricultural production. The farmers and ranchers told congress that agriculture is unique, in that homes, equipment and land make up most of their total assets, leaving little liquid capital available to pay for estate tax costs.

Unless congress acts by the end of the year, the estate tax is set to return in 2011 to a 55-percent rate over a $1-million exemption.

The results are in from the 2010 San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association Annual Wine Competition.

A petit syrah from Lodi has taken the top honors. The "best of show" award went to Peirano estate's the heritage collection, petite syrah. The winery traces its roots to one of the Lodi region's first zinfandel vineyards planted in the late 1800's.

The gold winner was a 2008 ruby cabernet from Fundus Vineyard under the Cardella Winery label in Fresno County. The winery also won silver awards for its barbera and sangiovese wines.

North Carolina is joining California and two other states to adopt pure honey standards.

Starting this month, the state will begin investigating complaints about products that masquerade as pure honey while containing additives such as corn syrup.

The new honey standards board will test products in response to complaints to see if they have ingredients added to what the honeybees make.

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