Feb 29th AM Live Ag Report

FRESNO, Calif.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says fresh produce trade deficit is expected to grow in the next ten years.

The U.S.D.A. says even though the pace of imports is expected to slow down, the 2011 trade deficit in fresh produce will still go from $6.2-billion to 10.7 billion in 2021. The U.S.D.A. is also predicting slightly higher-per-consumption of fruits and nuts, and an increase in sale of vegetables and melons.

California walnut growers will soon decide whether to raise the assessment cap of per-in-shell pounds.

Members of the California Walnut Commission are expected to vote next month. A positive vote would raise the cap by less than one cent. The assessment cap can only be changed by a vote of the growers, but the assessment itself is decided by commission board members.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture will mail the ballots this Saturday, and growers will have 30 days to send in their vote.

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