The U.S. dairy industry should become more export-oriented even though there was a dramatic decline in foreign sales in 2009, leaders of the International Dairy Foods Association said at their annual Dairy Forum. Still, dairy farmers need a new safety net, the said. Page 19

Michael Pollan believes farmers may eventually solve three of the world's biggest problems -- crises centered on energy, health care and climate change. The author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma" outlined his "sun food agenda," advocating a return to a diversified agricultural system, during his recent lecture at Washington State University. Page 5

A U.S. fertilizer manufacturer sees the demand for phosphate rebounding, spurred by healthy commodity prices and overseas consumption. Phosphate sales were dismal throughout 2009, but the market has seen an upswing since autumn, executives from the Mosaic Co. reported during a conference call with analysts and investors. Page 13

A proposed expansion of the threatened bull trout's critical habitat could result in new restrictions for ranchers who rely on public lands for grazing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recent proposal would roughly quadruple the federally protected species' critical habitat in the West. Page 4


The Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale's new manager, Adam Owens, will feel right at home when helping to guide the 69th annual event next week. His great-grandfather, Roy Owens, was a founder, and his grandfather, Bill Owens, was board president in the 1980s. Page 9


Irrigation districts in south-central Idaho will seek approval for $22.6 million in bonds for replacement of the spillway at Minidoka Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation says the century-old dam's spillway need to be repaired to prevent failure. Page 10


Canola backers told legislators this week that state restrictions on the crop are unfair and unnecessary. Supporters of the restrictions said that without them, canola will overrun Oregon's high-value specialty seed industry. Page 11


Legislation that would limit the use of eminent domain is receiving bipartisan support in Olympia. Proposed measures would narrowly define the circumstances when officials could use eminent domain to take private land. Page 12


Lack of sufficient labor and excessive government regulations and mandates were the top concerns of tree fruit producers, a major farm lender says. Page 15

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