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Agriculture

Government of Canada helps Canadian Agricultural Industry Gain New Market Opportunities in China

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, has concluded his second successful mission to China where he helped secure new export opportunities for Canadian agricultural producers and processors.  Over the 10-day mission, Minister MacAulay and a delegation of over 100 Canadian industry representatives from all 10 provinces visited the cities of Qingdao, Beijing and Shanghai. Meetings were held with Chinese ministers, agriculture and agri-food businesses and exporters.

Post-election export picture is bleak: analysts

With Donald J. Trump as the president-elect, meat analysts and lobbyists are anticipating rough seas for exports, on which a growing number of meat processors depend to thrive or even survive.

Biotech advances show human health linked to animal welfare

Animal biotechnology is a rapidly growing field due to the vast benefits it can bring to both human and animal health. For example, by carefully modifying the genome of livestock to provide disease resistance, we simultaneously improve animal health, welfare and food safety.  This practice reduces the use of antibiotics in livestock, helping to preserve an antibiotic’s clinical efficacy in humans. By using biotechnology to reduce disease in livestock, we lessen the likelihood of microbes infecting humans.

States to join federal probes of Dow-DuPont, Bayer-Monsanto mergers

U.S. state attorneys general have joined a federal antitrust probe of the planned merger between DuPont and Dow Chemical Co., according to three people familiar with the matter, heightening risks to a deal that could help reshape the global farm industry.  A separate group of state attorneys general are expected to join a probe of Bayer AG's $66 billion plan to buy Monsanto Co., one of the sources said. The involvement of the state attorneys general increases scrutiny of the mega-deals and will complicate what are already expected to be tough and lengthy reviews by U.S.

Pennsylvania farmers struggle as milk prices remain low

Dean and Suzanne Curtis paid a price in sweat, 14- and 16-hour workdays, scraped knuckles and vacations they never took.But together, the Venango Township couple built something. They own 515 acres, a herd of 150 dairy cows and the buildings and equipment needed to produce thousands of gallon of milk each year.In 2009, they were just months from having all of it paid off.Then came the recession and a historic tumble in the price of milk.

Low crop prices drag farm towns down with them

When farmers in the small farming town of Hallock, Minnesota have a bad year, as they have a few years in a row now, pretty much all the businesses in town suffer, including the grocery store.  “Look at the name of the store: Farmer's Store,” said Tom Swanson, the store's owner. “It was built by farmers to begin with. When the farmers have money in their pockets, everyone has money in their pockets around here.”  A few years ago, wheat, a big crop in these parts, sold for as much as $13 a bushel. Now it's closer to $4.

Ag barometer points toward tough times

If you talk to farmers at the town coffee shop, the local feed mill, the livestock auction — or about any other place — you’ll find they’re a little pessimistic about where the ag economy is headed. And now there’s statistical evidence that shows their concern is more than talk. The Ag Economy Barometer, a survey of 400 U.S. farmers by Purdue University, measures producer sentiment toward current and future expectations. The Nov. 3 release of data resulted in the second most pessimistic results since the survey began in October 2015.

Water Allocation in the West: Challenges and Opportunities

W hen considering the role of water in an economy, it is useful to reflect on the “Diamond-Water Paradox” made famous by Adam Smith: “Nothing is more useful than water: but it will purchase scarcely anything; scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it. A diamond, on the contrary, has scarcely any use-value; but a very great quantity of other goods may frequently be had in exchange for it.”

The Challenge of Responding to Water Scarcity in Irrigated Agriculture

Water scarcity is increasingly acknowledged to be a major risk in many parts of the world (World Economic Forum). Projections indicate that water-related problems may significantly worsen over the next several decades due to rising water demands as a result of demographic, socioeconomic, and technological changes, and due to the effects of climate change (World Water Assessment Program; Jiménez Cisneros and Oki).

Water Linkages beyond the Farm Gate: Implications for Agriculture

This article provides an overview of water scarcity challenges in economic sectors beyond the farm gate that may affect agricultural water access and costs. The relative importance of other large, water-using sectors varies by region but includes municipal, energy and industrial uses. Energy-intensive sectors in particular need careful consideration due to the water consumption embedded in energy use.

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