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Sustainability and agriculture

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said producers need to speak up and tell the public how they are producing more food with less water, less pesticides and less plowing.

“We need to take back the concept of sustainability, because nobody works harder on sustainability than the American farmer and rancher,” he said.

He says agriculture has never been more sustainable.

ChemChina, Syngenta submit minor concessions to EU watchdog

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.

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

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.

Monsanto agreement with Broad for CRISPR system

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

Michigan may best N.Y. as second-biggest apple producer

ith its large crop this season, the Michigan apple industry set new shipment records from mid-October through Christmas and is claiming the title of second-largest apple producer away from New York. Michigan may have beaten New York this season in apple production, but it might be just temporary. Both states are upping their game in competition with Washington.

GMO vegetable oil lawsuit to proceed

Several consumers can proceed with a lawsuit alleging they were deceived by vegetable oil labeled as “100 percent natural” despite containing genetically engineered ingredients.  In 2015, a federal judge in California agreed to certify the lawsuit against the Conagra food company as a class action, allowing other consumers to be included in the litigation. However, the case was put on hold while Conagra challenged the class certification before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

DTN/The Progressive Farmer Survey Shows a New Hope

Farmers have put a tremendous amount of hope into the new presidential administration, one that built its candidacy on throwing out the political party which had "Hope" as a central theme.  That's really the only way to interpret the results of the latest DTN/The Progressive Farmer Agricultural Confidence Index, based on responses from 500 farmers from across the United States. Answers farmers gave to an early December survey produced an Ag Confidence Index of 98, up considerably from the 72 rating in August, and up from the 75.1 rating farmers set in December 2015.

2016 a big year for agribusiness mergers and acquisitions

2016 was a busy year for mergers and acquisitions in the poultry, pig and animal feed industries. Here is a review of the more than 100 deals WATTAgNet reported on last year.  Aviagen Turkeys acquiring France’s Le Sayec. Zoetis to sell some animal health brands, manufacturing unit. Pestell Minerals & Ingredients acquires Agri-Feed Products Ltd. Pancosma & Associates acquires Btech. BRF finalizes acquisition in Qatar. Packaging companies Hamer, Fischbein Americas merge. Alltech completes acquisition of Masterfeeds. Nutreco completes acquisition of Micronutrients..

Destructive beetle infests Maui coffee farm

A beetle that can destroy up to a third of a coffee berry crop has made its way to Maui.  The state Agriculture Department confirmed the coffee berry borer has infested a 13-acre farm on the island. Department entomologists said the farm’s infestation indicates the beetle has been there for some time.


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