Enormous potential in Cuba, ag trade is not a one-way street

World Food Prize laureate Pedro Sanchez, a soils scientist, says Cuba "could be a very good market" for U.S. food companies, but adds that "it's not a one-way situation." In an interview with UC Food Observer, Sanchez said, "America has so much to learn from Cuba. Some of the agricultural techniques used in Cuba may benefit our food system."

Big in some regions, ag is small potatoes in much of U.S.

Agriculture is a major industry in the Plains, Midwest, South and California, USDA data show, and the obverse holds too - in many congressional districts, farming and ranching is a minor economic factor. USDA's 2012 Census of Agriculture says there are fewer than 5,000 farms in 57 percent of the 435 congressional districts. In 62 percent of congressional districts, the market value of agricultural products sold was less than $500 million; in 77 percent of them, sales were less than $1 billion.

Organic vs conventional yield gap is smaller than thought

A meta-analysis of 115 studies by UC-Berkeley researchers finds the yield gap between organic and conventional agriculture is smaller than thought, around 19 percent.