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Industry News Release

muddy soybean harvest
Brazil’s top soybean producing state, Mato Grosso, has soybean fields ready for harvest but are so muddy it’s difficult to walk through, let alone drive a combine through. A Bloomberg report says a week of persistent rainfall has caused some soybeans to begin fermenting. The beans have become engorged their pods, which have started to open as the oilseeds begin to germinate. Continue reading

Friesian (Holstein) dairy cows grazing on lush green pasture
The first 2018 Farm Bill development meeting took place this week. Legislators have been encouraging the nation’s producers to speak up about what worked in the last Farm Bill and what didn’t. Continue reading

DuPont Dow merger acquisition
A Dow Jones report says the Dow and DuPont merger deal looks good for regulatory approval from European Union regulators. People familiar with the deal tell Dow Jones that the deal looks to be on track because the companies offered to sell some of their businesses to ease antitrust concerns. Continue reading

crop protection plans
A new study from Millenium Research shows that the nation’s largest farmers are still uncommitted or making changes to their crop protection plans. The “Farmer Speaks” study shows producers being more aggressive in cutting costs after a tough year in 2016. Continue reading

trade agreement
Despite strong anti-trade comments from President Trump, a $1 trillion free trade agreement went into effect on Wednesday of this week, called the Trade Facilitation Agreement. A CNN Money report says the agreement is designed to cut through red tape and help solve problems like border delays and transportation bottlenecks. The World Trade Organization says it will cut a day and a half off the time needed to import goods and cut two days off the time need to export products. Continue reading

groups Farm Equipment on Rural Roads
Over 200 groups with a stake in agriculture and rural areas sent a letter to President Trump asking for rural needs to be part of any plan to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says a few of the groups that signed on to the letter included Farm Credit Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, and the American Soybean Association, among many others. Continue reading

dairy nmpf
Dairy farmers need Congress to make improvements in the dairy title of the farm bill this year, and not wait until 2018 when the current bill expires, according to testimony delivered here today by Kansas dairy farmer Lynda Foster.

In a field hearing Thursday on the campus of Kansas State University, Foster told members of the Senate Agriculture Committee that “dairy farmers deserve better” than the current Margin Protection Program (MPP), created in 2014 by Congress. “We need Congress to act swiftly this year and make the necessary changes in order for our industry to be able to protect ourselves from the bad year that could arrive at any time, even in years where experts are predicting higher margins.” Continue reading

By Sean Nealon, UC Riverside

citrus greening disease

Credit: UC Riverside
UC Riverside researchers (from left) Philippe Rolshausen, David Jassby, Haizhou Liu, Caroline Roper, Georgios Vidalakis and James Borneman received a $5.1 million grant to fight a disease killing citrus trees.


A team of scientists, led by a group at the University of California, Riverside, has received a five-year, $5.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight a disease that is devastating the citrus industry.

The team, led by Caroline Roper, an associate professor of plant pathology, will design and identify bactericides, which are chemicals that kill bacteria, to target Huanglongbing, a bacterial plant disease decimating citrus trees worldwide. They also will focus on better understanding the pathways those bactericides travel inside citrus trees. Continue reading

animal health market
A new report projects the animal health market will be worth $58.5 billion by 2025. Grand View Research reports the market is driven by technological advancements in veterinary care, which are anticipated to serve future growth opportunities to the market. The research agency says the advanced work of identifying emerging animal health issues in developing economies provides a high growth potential in the future. Continue reading

strain
China reported this week the nation is assessing a new strain of avian influenza, H7N9, which officials report has evolved into a more severe form in birds. Continue reading

bayer shareholders billions monsanto
Bayer AG CEO Werner Baumann says he expects the Bayer-Monsanto deal will close by the end of this year. Bauman says he is confident the planned $57 billion acquisition of Monsanto would overcome any regulatory obstacles and close by the end of the year, despite delays with U.S. and European antitrust authorities, according to a report by Dow Jones. Bauman made the comments during Bayer’s annual earnings conference. Continue reading

renewable fuel standard biofuel corn stalk ethanol gas pump
President Donald Trump penned a letter this week reiterating his support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Renewable Fuels Association released the letter during the National Ethanol Conference in San Diego, California. Trump told the ethanol industry in the letter that “your president and this administration values the importance of renewable fuels to America’s economy.” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen thanked Trump for reaffirming his support, which has been in question because Trump appointed former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the Hagstrom Report. Pruitt has close ties to the fossil fuel industry, but has upheld that he will enforce the RFS as per the laws set by Congress. Continue reading

house agriculture
The House Agriculture Committee has scheduled two subcommittee hearings on the next farm bill next week. The Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry will hold a public hearing next Tuesday morning regarding conservation policy in the next farm bill. Continue reading

nafta changes
Senior officials from Canada and Mexico say re-negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will happen with all nations at the table. The trade agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico is being targeted by President Donald Trump for “tweaking.” Continue reading

cabbage aphids

Brussels sprouts infested with cabbage aphid, which can render most sprouts unmarketable.

Severe infestations of cabbage aphids can virtually destroy a crop of Brussels sprouts, making them unmarketable. However, new research from the University of New Hampshire shows that organic pesticides can be effective in managing the pests.

The research was conducted by Becky Sideman, a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and extension professor of sustainable horticulture production, and her undergraduate student Talia Levy. Levy studied the issue of aphid infestations of Brussels sprouts for her senior thesis. The research was conducted at the UNH Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, a facility of the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. Continue reading

Strong storms during the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend flooded farm fields, caused several dairy farms to relocate their animals and brought other impacts on California farms and ranches. The storms also added more water to an already overtaxed system, and led to renewed calls to modernize the system.

Continue reading

grocery
In a new industry-wide effort to reduce consumer confusion about product date labels, grocery manufacturers and retailers have joined together to adopt standard wording on packaging about the quality and safety of products. Continue reading

corn mexico deal
The CEO of global agribusiness company Bunge Limited says U.S. corn is a better deal for Mexico than corn from Argentina or Brazil. Continue reading

National Pork Board
At year-end 2016, U.S. pork exports showed impressive progress following a challenging 2015. In 2016, 5.1 billion pounds of pork and pork variety meats valued at $5.94 billion dollars were exported, up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively from 2015, according to the USDA. Continue reading

Rural Mainstreet Climbs to Highest Level Since September 2015:
But Only 15 Percent Report Expanding Economy

February Survey Results at a Glance:
rural mainstreet
* The overall index, while remaining below growth neutral, rose to its highest level since September 2015.
* More than one-third of bank CEOs reported their local economy remains in an economic downturn.  Only 14.9 percent of bankers indicated their local economy was expanding.
* On average, farmland prices have declined by 5.1 percent over the past 12 months. Continue reading

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