The U.S. will impose a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomato imports starting on Tuesday, as the two countries were unable to renew a 2013 agreement that suspended a U.S. anti-dumping investigation, Reuters reported a Mexican official as saying.
The U.S. Commerce Department said in early February that the U.S. would resume an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes, withdrawing from The Tomato Suspension Agreement that halted the investigation as long as Mexican producers sold their tomatoes above a pre-determined price.
Many U.S. tomato growers and lawmakers say that deal has failed.
At the time, the Commerce Department said it was giving the required 90-day notice before terminating the agreement.
Are you concerned with the constant threat of critters eating your food? We offer this enclosed gated gardening system in many different size configurations. This is a solution to deer eating your vegetables. Key things to think about when designing an enclosed garden we can help you with work space, irrigation, aesthetics, equipment needs, entry and harvesting.
Founded in 1999 by Owner Cindy Johnson, Double J Riding Club provides a safe learning environment where horse riding students of all ages and levels can develop their riding skills, make friends, gain confidence through accomplishment, and have fun while pursuing a life-long sport. Double J offers reasonably priced, high quality individual and group lessons, classes, camps, parties and outings and well-cared for horses and property- Using its resourcs to benefit the community.
Visit the site Here. Double J Horse Farm
We helped to create a sanctuary right in the heart of downtown Glenview. Unused rooftop space became a place to grow veggies, read and relax. Rooftop gardens make good use of frequently unused and wasted space. Plants are safe from the many animals that run around town, deer and rabbits for example have no access to our carrots and lettuce. We had a great time helping to get these gardens set up and ready for planting. We also thank the clients for the use of their fabulous pictures!
Posted June 10, 2011 - 1:39pm by Tracy
Victory Gardens: back in vogue after 70 years“Victory Garden” is a term that has recently been popping up all over Chicago, and in national news. And it’s no wonder.
With the all the recent news reports about poor food production practices and the globalization of agriculture (Just how far did that banana travel to get to your lunch, anyway?), foods grown in your backyard or in a communal space in your neighborhood start sounding pretty good, safe and healthy.
What a radical idea!
Well, not really. Sure, in this day and age when so many foods are processed and it’s so easy to get groceries anywhere and any time of the year, it seems crazy to think you can grow 40 percent of the food you consume yourself — but a new idea it is not.
Back in March, I had the opportunity to attend the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier in Chicago, and caught a presentation by LaManda Joy, president and founder of the Peterson Garden Project, and blogger behind TheYarden.com. Decked out in Rosie the Riveter apparel (literally!), LaManda gave the full history of Victory Gardens in the U.S., which have roots dating back to World Wars I and II. In fact, the community garden that now exists at the corner of Peterson and Campbell avenues in Chicago (which LaManda reestablished in 2010) served as an original Victory Garden from 1942 to 1945 as well.
The idea was for families to grow staple crops on their own so rations could be conserved and some pressure could be taken off American farmers. Victory Gardens also were a tool to boost morale during tough times. It is easy to see why people are once again drawn to this idea. Today, the re-emergence of Victory Gardens is no longer focused on the war effort, but still on boosting morale and forming community bonds. It also seems to have a new agenda: to help people take ownership of their food and rediscover an appreciation for where it comes from, how it is made and the history and sacrifice that it behind it.
LaManda explained that both today and back then, Chicago has been ahead of the curve in adopting these vegetable gardening practices. More and more people in the area are catching on — myself included.
I do not live close to a community garden, but LaManda’s speech and the success of the Peterson Garden sparked my own interest in gardening. Today my backyard raised bed garden is well on its way to a good yield, which I hope will help me cut down on grocery bills and eat better and more locally this summer. Many of my co-workers at Swedish Covenant Hospital have also been drawn into the Victory Garden trend, planting anywhere they can — in pots, their backyards and in nearby community gardens.
The more I work out in my Victory Garden, the more I enjoy it. You really can't go wrong with a therapeutic outdoor activity that yields fresh vegetables, community involvement, pocket-book friendly eating and a sense of accomplishment — and maybe even victory.
Note: The photo is of my first backyard Victory Garden. Here's hoping for a good year.
Last Thursday, I had Michael and his business partner install 3 raised beds in my backyard. I live in Chicago and do not have a ton of room in the backyard, so they customized the beds to be (3) 3’x 8’ beds installed along our fence line. They were able to accommodate our timeline, and showed up exactly when they said they would. They brought all of the necessary supplies, assembled them, and installed them just like we had wanted. They look great, and are very well built. They definitely will last a long time. I attached a picture of them installing it.
The only thing I need now is someone to come and plant!!
Let me know what else you have questions on.
By John Waggoner, USA TODAY Corn has soared 52% the past 12 months. Sugar’s up 60%. Soybeans have jumped 41%. And wheat costs 24% more than it did a year ago.
For about 44 million people — roughly the population of the New York, Los Angeles and Chicago metropolitan areas combined — the rise in food prices means a descent into extreme poverty and hunger, according to the World Bank.
The surge in food prices has many causes. Rising population. Speculators. Soaring oil prices. Trade policies. And, ironically, improved standards of living in emerging nations.
By itself, the soaring cost of food didn’t cause the political unrest in the Middle East and elsewhere. Those tensions have been building for a long time. But higher food prices amplify those tensions.
“It exposes the underlying inequalities and issues related to the standard of living that boil beneath the surface,” says Tony Crescenzi, portfolio manager at Pimco.
What goes up
You’re paying about 6.8% more for that steak than you did a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fruits and veggies are up about 4.3%.
In the U.S., the effect of higher food prices has been modest. U.S. consumers spend about 9% of their income on food, and another 3% for dining out.
And raw materials prices are just one facet of many factoring into the cost of our food. The farm value of food — what goes to the farmer — is about 19% of the cost in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The rest goes to labor, packaging, transportation, energy and corporate profits.
In many emerging markets, however, 50% or more of a family budget goes toward food — not because food is so expensive, but because income is so low. Kick up the price of wheat or rice or corn, and you’re spelling the difference between having two meals a day or one.
“For many people who spend two-thirds or three-quarters of their income on food, even small price increases disrupt normal routine,” says Hassan Zaman, lead economist for the World Bank in poverty reduction and equity. “They start sacrificing non-food items, such as clothing, and then start eating less.”
Hunger and desperation
Because many emerging markets have high unemployment, one result is a large number of unemployed men desperate for ways to feed their families. When Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in Tunisia in December, it wasn’t because he was yearning to vote. It was because he couldn’t feed his family and police had confiscated the fruits and vegetables he was trying to sell.
The World Bank’s food index has soared 29% from its level last January and is just 3% below its 2008 peak. An above-average African harvest and a stable rice market have prevented the current food crisis from exceeding 2008, the World Bank says.
What’s causing rising food prices:
Speculation. Economists downplay the role of the futures market and speculators in driving up food prices.
Futures contracts have a limited life, and when they expire, they equal the current spot price. Short-term price spikes driven by speculation “will play itself out,” says Dan Seiver, economist in the finance department of San Diego State University.
But short-term or not, speculative spikes can have a big impact. “If you’re starving, the short run is pretty interesting,” says Paul Kleindorfer, professor of sustainable development at INSEAD, a business university based in Fontainbleau, France.
Energy. You need energy to make fertilizer, drive tractors and take food to market. More important, however, a great deal of land is now being planted for corn that will be made into ethanol.
“As energy prices go up, so do the incentives to produce ethanol,” says the World Bank’s Zaman. “The past three years, the percentage of the U.S. corn crop that has gone to ethanol has gone from 31% in 2008 to more than 40% projected in the 2010-2011 growing season.”
And the more land that goes to corn, the less land there is planted with other crops. The U.S. had 63.2 million acres planted in wheat in 2008, says the Department of Agriculture. That fell to 53.6 million acres in 2010. Corn acreage rose from 86 million acres to 88.2 million in the same period.
Trade restrictions. When crops fail — or fall below expectations — countries often ban exports. “That drives up prices immediately,” says San Diego State’s Seiver. Russia, for example, imposed an export ban on wheat in August after drought and fires devastated the wheat crop. Prices shot to a two-year high.
Affluence. In China and India, among other countries, the economies have been booming and people have grown wealthier. As a result, they’re eating better, which drives up the cost of food. “Per-capita calorie consumption quintupled from 1961 to 2007,” says Juerg Trueb, managing director for Swiss Re. And as affluence rises, so does demand for meat — the production of which increases demand for corn and other feeds.
Population. All other things being equal, a rising population increases demand for food. The world population is now 6.8 billion, more than double the 3 billion in 1960.
What’s being done
Aid for hunger relief is unlikely to grow this year, at least from the United States, which is worried about cutting its budget deficit. A Jan. 31 USA TODAY/Gallup poll found that 59% of respondents favored cutting foreign aid, which is just 1% of the U.S. budget.
Of course, rising demand should bring more supply, says Pimco’s Crescenzi. “High levels of pricing is good in terms of investment in supply,” says Crescenzi. “Just as rises in the price of oil leads to increased drilling and a higher rig count.”
Technology may help, too: The Green Revolution in better seeds and farming techniques hasn’t reached all parts of the world yet, says San Diego State’s Seiver. But much of the progress from the Green Revolution came from government-sponsored nonprofit organizations, entities that will probably see reduced funding as nations fret about debt.
As prices rise and hunger grows, people start to think of Thomas Malthus, the early 19th-century scholar who proposed that eventually, the world population will exceed the Earth’s ability to feed everyone. That point hasn’t been reached, Seiver says. When food shortages loom, Malthusians come out of the woodwork, he says: “I’m a food optimist. We’re capable of feeding people with better seed, reduced waste and improved technology. But it’s a long, slow process.”
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