Cost to export many California crops to Mexico to decrease amid removal of Mexican tariffs; California Table Grape Commission says tariff as high as 45%, expected to end Oct. 21

SACRAMENTO, California , October 19, 2011 (press release) – Produce programs at schools earn high grades

Kids will eat their fruits and vegetables, according to a U.S. Agriculture Department study of a program that provides produce to elementary school students across the nation. The report says children participating in the program increased their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by 10 percent. Findings also show that the caloric intake of students remained the same and they replaced other foods with fruits and vegetables.

Farms visit the city this week

Cows, sheep and turkeys will visit elementary schools in San Francisco on Thursday. During Farm Day programs at 25 schools, the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom will teach 10-thousand schoolchildren about the bounty California farms and ranches provide. Students will have hands-on time with livestock, and will also learn about healthy nutrition and how to plant gardens.

Lettuce has been more plentiful than profitable

Growing greens hasn't been generating much green, in the form of cash for farmers. Even though growing conditions on the Central Coast have been favorable, farmers have seen prices slump for lettuce and other leafy greens. Marketers say the recession has cut consumer demand and prices earned by farmers have remained flat, even as farmers diversify their lettuce offerings to include romaine, red leaf and green leaf lettuce.

Mexican tariffs to be removed

The cost to export many California crops to Mexico will soon decrease. Mexico had imposed retaliatory tariffs on many California-grown commodities, after the U.S. government stopped a program allowing Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. With the dispute resolved, the California Table Grape Commission reports that a Mexican tariff that had been as high as 45 percent is expected to end by Friday.

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