Like wine? Well the first phase of the Napa Valley harvest is over and growers report average or better yields and high-quality fruit. According to Farm Press, last week growers had picked most of their 2016 chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc grapes and were just beginning to harvest their merlot and other earlier red varieties.

The USDA is set to send out payments to farmers next month under the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs.The checks will total about $11 billion -- that's $3 billion more than the Congressional Budget Office had projected for the payments back in March. One of the nation's most influential conservative organizations is calling on Congress to phase out commodity subsidies and end federal support for revenue-based crop insurance In a 65-page report obtained by Agri-Pulse, the Heritage Foundation argues that most U.S. farmers are well-positioned to manage risk without government help. Subsidies distort commodity markets while artificially inflating land values to the detriment of aspiring new farmers, the report says.