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Agriculture

U.S. exports to Mexico fall as uncertainty over NAFTA lingers

Friction between the U.S. and Mexico over trade is starting to cut into sales for U.S. farmers and agricultural companies, adding uncertainty for an industry struggling with low commodity prices and excess supply.Over the first four months of 2017, Mexican imports of U.S. soybean meal—used to feed poultry and livestock—dropped 15%, the first decrease for the period in four years, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Shipments of U.S. chicken meat fell 11%, the biggest decline for the period since 2003. U.S. corn exports to Mexico declined 6%.

CoBank reports rising demand and strong profitability for US pork

According to a new report from Farm Credit System member CoBank, global demand and the potential for profit are creating strong incentives for US pork producers to expand capacity. While this means favorable conditions for producers, it also means intensified competition among packers and possible short-term compression in packer margins. “US pork packing capacity will increase eight to 10 percent by mid-2019, when five processing facility construction projects are complete and fully operational,” Trevor Amen, an economist with CoBank who specializes in animal protein said in a statement.

Trump’s Cuba Moves May Chill Long-Sought U.S. Farm Export Push

A rollback of Obama administration efforts to open Cuba to U.S. tourism and trade may chill a rebound in agricultural sales to the island nation, setting back a farm-lobby push that’s weathered two decades. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signaled Tuesday that changes would come as soon as Friday, when President Donald Trump visits Miami. The moves may include new limits on travel and investment policies.

Brazil approves world's first commercial GM sugarcane

Brazil has approved commercial use of a genetically modified sugarcane, setting a milestone for the country's highly competitive sugar industry as this is the first time such permission has been granted anywhere in the world. Authorization was obtained by CTC Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira SA, which developed the technology and made the application seeking approval in December 2015.

Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence

The World Health Organization's cancer agency says a common weedkiller is "probably carcinogenic." The scientist leading that review knew of fresh data showing no cancer link - but he never mentioned it and the agency did not take it into account.The epidemiologist from the U.S.

China's WH Group targets beef and poultry assets in U.S. and Europe

Smithfield Foods Inc's owner, China-based WH Group Ltd (0288.HK), is scouting for U.S. and European beef and poultry assets to buy, in a move that would sharpen its rivalry with global meat packers Tyson Foods Inc and JBS SA.Smithfield Chief Executive Ken Sullivan told Reuters he is interested in the potential of diversifying into other meats to broaden the company's product portfolio, though no deals were imminent."We're a food company," he said.

Dow, DuPont merger wins U.S. antitrust approval with conditions

DuPont (DD.N) and Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N) have won U.S. antitrust approval to merge on condition that the companies sell certain crop protection products and other assets.The asset sales required by U.S. antitrust enforcers were similar to what the companies had agreed to give up in a deal they struck with European regulators in March.

Losing one dairy farm a day is not 'normal'

Headlines from the past month reveal the disappointing truth about the state of Wisconsin’s dairy industry. “Dairy industry breathes a sigh of relief,” said one headline, celebrating a “return to normal” now that most of the farmers who were axed by Grassland Dairy Products have found new milk buyers. And what does “normal” look like?

As High-Tech Farms Take Hold, Can Farm Towns Hold On?

That means farms on the Great Plains and in many other parts of the country have had to grow in size and adopt new technologies to make ends meat. He can’t just farm 80 acres and make a living, he says. “I wish you could. I think life would be a lot simpler, easier,” Biesemeier says. “And there’d be a lot more people out here if that was the case.”About a hundred years ago, farming was the way a third of the country made its living.

Forget GMOs. The next big battle is over genetically ‘edited’ foods

The goal is to avoid the sort of public backlash that rocked Monsanto in the late 1990s and still plagues agriculture two decades later. In the United States,  consumer skepticism of genetically modified crops has forced biotech companies into long, costly battles over issues such as whether these foods should be labeled; elsewhere in the world, the public outcry has prevented seeds from winning government approval. “It’s more about social science than science,” said Neal Gutterson, the vice president of research and development at DuPont Pioneer.

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