**The Center for Food Safety and other growers of organic food are suing the USDA to stop the National Organic Program from allowing hydroponically grown produce from being certified organic.

The Center’s executive director, Andrew Kimbrell tells thepacker.com, healthy soil is the foundation of organic farming.

The lawsuit alleges the federal Organic Foods Production Act requires farms to build soil fertility in order to be certified organic, and that without soil hydroponics can’t comply.

**Water shortages could cause 1 million acres of San Joaquin Valley farmland to be idled and cost as many as 85,000 jobs.

That’s according to analysis by University of California economists. The report considered the impact of potential groundwater and surface water restrictions resulting from laws and regulations.

The group Water Blueprint for the San Joaquin Valley commissioned the study and a second report will discuss ways to reduce the impacts.

**A new study shows meat demand is strong.

The Food Industry Association and the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education released its 15th-annual in-depth study of meat and poultry through shoppers’ eyes.

Agweb.com reports, with 49% believing that animal agriculture does not have negative impacts on the planet if done properly, the belief that it does have negative impacts is higher among younger generations, showing the opportunity and importance of consumer education.

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