Want to keep up with the latest news for growers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the fruit and vegetable industry.

USDA Invests $17.5 Million for Resilient Rural Communities and a Sustainable Agriculture Economy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 47 grants totaling nearly $17.5 million to improve sustainable agriculture and help rural communities thrive. The funding is made possible through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Dynamic Systems Introduces SIMBA Line of Tracking
Dynamic Systems, Inc. announced an end to end traceability system for Aquaponic, Aeroponic and Hydroponic growers using the SIMBA line of Barcode Tracking & Labeling Solutions. SIMBA gives the processor the ability to record, label and track their products faster and more accurately while including numerous data points. SIMBA uses an automated process to track the produce through each growth stage. The SIMBA system runs on tablets or touch screen computers in the growing area, and collects multiple points of data including such details as produce type, nutrients added, start and end time at each stage, harvest date and time, and so on.  The software is able to collect lot or batch numbers and maintain full traceability from seed through growing and packaging.

Daedong Industrial Celebrates 70th Anniversary
Daedong® Industrial Company, LTD., will celebrate their 70th anniversary this May. In 1947, Sam-Man Kim, founded Daedong Industrial Company with his four brothers, pioneering Korea’s agricultural equipment industry. As the country battled famine and exhaustion following World War II, the desperate need for agricultural mechanization fueled Kim’s determination and creativity that produced a succession of machines which increased food production throughout a critical time during Korea’s industrialization. 70 years later, Mr. Kim’s legacy of passion and dedication to the agricultural industry embodies the spirit of Daedong Industrial and the KIOTI Tractor brand. 

New Madison Chemical Foam Clean 317-SP
Madison Chemical introduces FOAM CLEAN 317-SP for the removal of oxalate films caused by the washing and preparation of spinach and kale. This alkaline, one-step, foaming product reaches any area. Its thick foam clings to surfaces providing dwell time while the low surface tension and proprietary blend penetrate and remove the film without the need for acid.

North American Free Trade Agreement
The U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Trump Administration’s plans to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico. 
National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock urged Lighthizer to remember the interests of U.S. agriculture as they begin modernizing the agreement. The announcement means trilateral negotiations could begin as early as August 16. USTR will publish goals for the negotiations at least 30 days prior to negotiations.