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ChemChina, Syngenta submit minor concessions to EU watchdog

Reuters | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Agriculture News

China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) [CNNCC.UL] and Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta AG (SYNN.S) have proposed minor concessions to the EU's competition watchdog to address concerns over their $43 billion merger plan, sources told Reuters.  One person close to the deal said it was unlikely ChemChina would have to sell its Adama Agricultural Solutions Ltd (ADAM.N) unit.


As Trump meets biotech CEOs, farm advisers fret over empty USDA spot

Reuters | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Federal News

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has left the agriculture secretary as the last department head to be named to his Cabinet, while a meeting with the chief executives of two agribusiness giants gave a hint at a roster of farm issues the incoming president will face.


China hikes anti-dumping duties on U.S. animal feed in final ruling

Reuters | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Agriculture News

China has increased punitive tariffs on imports of a U.S. animal feed ingredient known as distillers' dried grains (DDGS) from levels first proposed last year, potentially escalating a trade spat between the world's two largest economies.  The ruling is a major victory for China's fledgling ethanol industry, which had complained the U.S. industry was unfairly benefiting from subsidies, and followed a year-long government probe. It also deals a blow to U.S. ethanol manufacturers already bracing for Beijing's higher import taxes on their main product.


Big OPEC oil producer is spending billions to go green

CNN | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Energy News

The country, a core member of OPEC, plans to invest $163 billion to boost its use of alternative energy over the next three decades.  That should increase clean energy's share of UAE consumption from 25% to 50% by 2050. The country also hopes to increase energy efficiency by 40% over the same period.UAE vice president and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said the new energy strategy should save the emirates $190 billion over three decades.  Low oil prices are forcing major producers, including Saudi Arabia, to rethink their economic strategies.


New York is betting on renewables to replace a major nuclear power plant

Think Progress | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Energy News

New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans this week to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which supplies electricity to New York City and surrounding areas.


Was 2016 the Worst Weather Year Ever?

Growing Produce | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Rural News

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. just logged its second warmest year on record – a span covering 122 years of data. The average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 54.9°F, which was 2.9°F above the 20th century average.  2016 ranks only behind 2012 (55.3°F), and it represents the 20th consecutive warmer-than-normal year for the U.S. Globally, 2015 holds the current title of warmest year on record. In addition to the near all-time record warmth, during 2016, the U.S.


Monsanto agreement with Broad for CRISPR system

Farm and Dairy | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Agriculture News

Monsanto Company announced recently that it has reached a new global licensing agreement with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard for the use of the novel CRISPR-Cpf1 genome-editing technology in agriculture.  The CRISPR-Cpf1 system represents an exciting advance in genome-editing technology, because it has potential to be a simpler and more precise tool for making targeted improvements in a cell’s DNA when compared to the CRISPR-Cas9 system.  Researchers believe that the CRISPR-Cpf1 system may offer an expanded set of benefits for advancing and delivering improved agricultural products


Repealing Obamacare puts rural hospitals at risk

The Mountaineer | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Rural News

Plans are being laid in Washington to repeal the Affordable Care Act as soon as Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office. Hidden inside the law is a little-known provision unrelated to the health insurance expansion that helps rural hospitals across America stay open.  It’s called the 340B drug discount program. The ACA made 1,100 rural hospitals eligible and it requires drug companies to supply these remote providers with discounted medications.


As Obamacare Repeal Looms, Hospitals Brace For Job Losses

Forbes | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Rural News

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act could cost more than 2.5 million jobs, and many would come from the nation’s hospitals and health systems, new reports and industry lobbies say.  The ACA’s subsidized private individual coverage and expanded Medicaid benefits have turned patients who couldn’t afford care into paying customers, allowing hospitals to hire more nurses, medical technicians, doctors and other caregivers to treat millions of newly insured Americans.   “Given that our hospitals already operate with no margin on average, it's hard to see how they could avoid layoffs if repeal incre


A Bumblebee Gets New Protection on Obama’s Way Out

New York Times | Posted onJanuary 12, 2017 in Federal News

The Obama administration has increased protection for a humble bumblebee.  The rusty-patched bumblebee, once common across the continental United States, has been designated an endangered species by the Fish and Wildlife Service, the country’s first bumblebee, and the first bee from the lower 48 states, to be added to the register.


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