**Canneries are expected to offer processing tomato growers higher contract prices this year to encourage increased plantings, but the two sides have yet to agree on a final price.

That could impact planting decisions as farmers weigh crop options and water budgets.

Merced County farmer Aaron Barcellos, first vice chair of the California Tomato Growers Association, says he’s hoping contract prices compensate for soaring production costs that have made processing tomatoes less profitable.

U.S. Capitol In Washington
Getty Images

**Deputy Ag Secretary Jewel Bronaugh announced last week her intention to resign from the USDA.

Bronaugh says, it is with mixed emotions I am announcing that I will step away from my role as Deputy Secretary in the coming weeks so I can spend more time with my mom, husband and four children.

President Biden nominated Bronaugh to USDA in January of 2021 and was confirmed by the Senate in May of that year.

New FDA Mercury Testing Contradicts Government Statements On Tuna Safety
Getty Images

**Food-at-home prices increased 11.4% in 2022, more than three times the 3.5% rate in 2021, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.

The increase was also much faster than the 2% historical annual average from 2002 to 2021.

In 2022, price increases surpassed 10% for food at home for nine food categories.

Egg prices grew at the fastest rate 32.2%, after the bird

flu outbreak in 2022.

More From News Talk KIT