**Despite water shortages, California farmers planted 17% more acres of cotton this year.

Out of 131,801 acres planted, 86% were for pima cotton.

Pima plantings increased 20%, while upland cotton climbed by 11%.

Farmers planting new acreage remain optimistic about the market outlook, even as global prices have softened since record highs for cotton earlier this year.

California grows most of the nation’s pima cotton, the majority in Fresno County.

**The Congressional Western Caucus wants information regarding oversight of the Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program.

In a letter to the President, the caucus outlined concerns regarding the program, which was created with no direction from Congress.

The lawmakers want answers to questions about how the USDA created the program, weighed submitted proposals, and intends to ensure the federal funding does not displace private sector investments.

**Trying to create “more, better and new markets” for U.S. producers, the USDA awarded a total of $223 million in grants, loans, and loan guarantees to expand meat and poultry processing capacity.

www.agriculture.com reports, the awards included $73 million in grants to the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program, $75 million to eight projects through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program and $75 million through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.


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