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.

U.S. Organic Sales Post New Record of $43.3 billion in 2015
The U.S. organic industry posted new records in 2015 with total organic product sales hitting $43.3 billion. It’s up 11 percent from the previous year’s record level, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2016 Organic Industry Survey. The industry saw its largest annual dollar gain in 2015, adding $4.2 billion in sales, up from the $3.9 billion in new sales recorded in 2014.

$130 Million Available for Foundational Ag Research, Education and Extension
The USDA announced that $130 million in funding is available for research, education and extension projects to support sustainable, productive and economically viable plant and animal production systems including certified organic production.

New Resources For “Rural Enterprise” Development Now Available
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) has released a collection of resources for farmers and communities about land use issues for rural enterprises. Rural enterprises are businesses, often on farms, that are suited to a rural area because they are supportive of agriculture or forestry activities and provide employment opportunities. The overview document for farmers outlines a myriad of the land use topics and resources they should be aware of when making business decisions related to their business’ land use.

Pentair Hypro Releases SprayIT Mobile App
Pentair released the SprayIT app that allows spray operators to identify the right spray nozzle to use for their application based on the chemical they are applying. Features include searching by part number or name; additional chemicals listed; matching Boom X Tender button and where to buy listings.

ABM Files Patent on Newly Discovered Trichoderma Strain
Advanced Biological Marketing (ABM) has filed an application with the United States patent office for a new Trichoderma strain. Specifically the patent is for “one or more microbial agents possessing multifunctional capabilities”. The benefits of this strain are an increase in one or more beneficial plant attributes that might include plant growth, yield, root development, resistance to abiotic stresses, photosynthetic efficiency, reduction of foliar disease, controlling nematodes, inducing systemic changes in plant gene expression and protecting planted seeds from soil-borne pathogens.

Bayer Makes Bid to Acquire Monsanto
Bayer is making a bid to acquire seed and pesticide company Monsanto, the companies confirmed. Monsanto said its board is reviewing Bayer’s proposal and would not comment until it completes the process.

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