3/9/2011 Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says farm and food products are expected to reach a record $135.5-billion in the 2011 fiscal year which ends in September.

Vilsack told the Associated Press that U.S. agriculture may have its best export year ever. Export value is expected to grow 25-percent over last year.

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More people are eating organic foods and its raised debate about what's organic and what's natural.

Organic food advocates say labeling products as natural may confuse shoppers who think natural and organic are the same. Experts say they're not.

Organic food is produced without most conventional pesticides or fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients. It also must be free from bioengineering, radiation, antibiotics and growth hormones.

The F.D.A. has not developed a definition for the term "natural." Food companies say they're not trying to deceive customers but want to meet demands for more information about their products.

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