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Agriculture

Japanese trader to acquire Creekstone Farms

Japanese trading house Marubeni announced today it will acquire Creekstone Farms from private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners. Terms were not disclosed in either of the parties’ news releases, although Japanese news outlet Nikkei Asian Review reported the deal is worth about $170 million.The move gives Marubeni, which already owns Australian beef interest Rangers Valley, a foothold in two of the world’s largest beef-producing and exporting countries and follows China’s recent announcement that it would lift a ban on beef from the United States.

Deal reached to help dairy and cotton farmers in ag spending bill

Senate Appropriations ranking member Patrick Leahy secured provisions in the fiscal 2018 agriculture spending bill aimed at encouraging more dairy farmers to sign up for an insurance program and to select greater levels of coverage under it. The provisions are part of an agreement brokered with Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran that helps both dairy and cotton farmers, who are struggling financially amid a sustained period of depressed prices.

Missouri woman dies of rare tick-borne illness called 'Bourbon virus'

A Missouri woman died June 23 after contracting a rare tick-borne illness called Bourbon virus. Tamela Wilson, 58, was the first person to test positive for the virus in Missouri, and is only the fifth confirmed case since it was identified in 2014, CBS reported. Wilson, who worked as a superintendent at Meramec State Park in Missouri, fell in ill shortly after she pulled two ticks off her body in May. CBS reported that Wilson's doctor initially diagnosed her with a urinary tract infection and prescribed her antibiotics, but her condition continued to deteriorate. 

How live animal markets create a perfect storm for bird flu

Katz and Todd Davis, principal investigator on the CDC team that studies flu viruses that infect other mammals and birds, told STAT in a recent interview that this year’s surge in H7N9 case numbers is likely due to the fact that the virus is infecting poultry in more parts of the country. More infected birds equals more exposed people.Swayne’s research, which hasn’t yet been published, points to how that happens.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns joins Alliant group as Chair of Ag

Alliantgroup, a leading tax consultancy in the area of government-sponsored credits and incentives, is proud to announce the addition of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns as the firm’s new Chairman of Agriculture. A former Governor and U.S. Senator representing the state of Nebraska, Johanns brings more than 30 years of experience at virtually every level of government and a strong background in both agriculture and economic development.

This will make you cringe: Wheat farmer faces millions in fines

In June, 2016, I described a Clean Water Act (CWA) case involving a California wheat farmer. A U.S. District Court found John Duarte chisel plowed pasture lands which were considered to be vernal pools even though the pools seldom have water in them. The Court determined his vernal pools were wetlands or waters of the United States. See where this is going? After a year-long delay, the penalty phase of the case against Duarte starts on August 14th. For chisel plowing alleged wetlands, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S.

When cutting-edge research labs get old, they face a new kind of challenge

Put expensive high-tech scientific equipment in a former citrus packing house more than 60 years old, throw in an overworked air conditioner, a corroding foundation, and the sticky Central Florida climate, and you’ve got problems.  The University of Florida’s Citrus Research and Education Center is doing cutting-edge work to find cures for new biological threats to the U.S. citrus crop, but its researchers and staff housed in some of the facility’s older buildings are also waging a more immediate fight against bugs, rodents and other fauna that thrive in the muggy summer heat.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on the Funding Awards to States for FDA FSMA Implementation

Our partnerships with states are especially critical when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, which are covered under FSMA’s produce safety rule. States have a long history of successfully working with their farming communities. That’s why we leverage relationships with state-based partners to achieve many of our goals. Today we’re announcing an additional step in these efforts. The FDA is awarding $30.9 million in funding to support 43 states in their continued efforts to help implement the produce safety rule.

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