The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on the potential to increase U.S. ag and food sales to Cuba by lifting the trade embargo on Tuesday. Senate Ag Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow says ag sales to Cuba are a way to rebuild trust between the U.S. and Cuba. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy says there will not be an immediate commercial windfall for American agriculture - as Cuba has used the embargo for its own purposes - and repealing it would allow the development of a more efficient economic relationship.

USDA scientists at the Horticultural Crops Research Unit in Oregon have developed two new berries - Sweet Sunrise and Columbia Star. Sweet Sunrise is a high-yielding cultivar that ripens in June and produces large, firm fruit providing excellent quality. Scientists say its yields are comparable to those of other recent berry releases - including Charm and Valley Red - or industry standards - like Totem and Hood. Columbia Star is a thornless, trailing blackberry cultivar and is a high-quality, high-yielding, machine-harvestable blackberry with sweet and firm fruit.