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Agriculture

DOJ queries farmers on Deere-Precision Planting deal

It's not every day that the government comes a-callin', so when the Washington, D.C., phone number popped up on his cellphone on September 28, Illinois farmer Matt Foes couldn't resist answering.  He's glad he did -- the phone call was from the Department of Justice, and they wanted to know how John Deere's plans to purchase Monsanto's Precision Planting would affect Foes, who farms in Bureau County, Illinois.  The proposed acquisition has come under fire recently from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which filed a lawsuit in August to block it.

How will the Monsanto-Bayer merger affect everyday farmers?

EPA has sent the final rule for the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard blend levels to White House for its approval.  The White House Office of Management and Budget is expected to complete its review of the final rule within the next 90 days to set renewable volume obligations in the RFS. The OMB received the final rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday.  The notice indicates EPA is on track to finalize volumes by its statutory Nov. 30 deadline. For years the agency has struggled to meet RFS deadlines. 

Another ammonia case dismissed, but the environmentalists will keep fighting

A second suit was filed in January, 2016 by HSUS, Association of Irritated Residents, Environmental Integrity Project, Friends of the Earth, and Sierra Club against EPA. Plaintiffs filed their original petition to regulate ammonia from CAFOs in 2009. On September 19, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the environmental groups’ second request to force EPA to regulate ammonia and other emissions of pollutants from CAFOs. The environmental groups are unlikely to stop their effort to regulate ammonia.

Zearalenone reported in US corn crop

The first report of zearalenone (ZEA) in this year’s U.S. corn crop has come in, along with an additional report of deoxynivalenol (DON).  DON has been found in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Indiana. Fumonisin has been found in corn from Missouri, Texas, Illinois and Oklahoma.

Syngenta Pursues Appeal

Syngenta is challenging a federal judge's ruling that creates a major class of farmers who could have been damaged as part of the ongoing lawsuit on Viptera corn.  Syngenta filed an appeal last week with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver over a case in which corn farmers are seeking more than $5 billion in damages against the company.  "The decision below certified nine classes collectively seeking over $5 billion in damages on novel and dubious theories that Chinese rules on genetically modified (GM) traits for corn seeds should have dictated defendants' practices in the U.S.,"

John Block: Ag Industry United

In these times of low farm prices, it is encouraging to see farm associations and leaders stepping up to protect our farmers and ranchers.  The CEOs of CropLife America, the National Corn Growers Association, and the American Soybean Association became a powerful agriculture industry leadership team, including the American Farm Bureau, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, and many more. The leaders met with policy representatives of both the Trump and Clinton campaigns. Farm leaders of different crops and different priorities spoke in unison.

Scientists create live animals from artificial eggs in 'remarkable' breakthrough

Arrtificial eggs have been grown in a petri dish for the first time, and used to create living animals in a breakthrough hailed as 'remarkable' by British experts. Scientists in Japan proved it is possible to take tissue cells from the tail of a mouse, reprogramme them as stem cells and then turn them into eggs in the lab. The ‘eggs in a dish’ were then fertilised and the resulting embryos were implanted in  female mice which went on to give birth to 11 healthy pups.

Farmers, antitrust activists are worried that Big Ag is only getting bigger

Low commodity prices are rippling up and down the farm-economy food chain — from the farm to the boardroom — and it has many of the huge companies that control farm inputs looking to a new future.  Most of the seeds and chemicals used to grow the world's crops come from just a handful of big companies, and the largest of those multinational companies — Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, and Syngenta — are trying to get even bigger.  The prospect of fewer, larger companies controlling so much of the basic food supply is giving some farmers and antitrust advocates heartburn.  With massive supplies

Dairy farmers in California say anti-flatulence law stinks

A new state law aims to reduce methane from cows, but the cattle industry thinks the regulation stinks.  "I don't have a whole lot of hope that common sense will prevail," said Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager of the Milk Producers Council, a industry group in California. The Golden State has the most dairy cows in the nation with a herd of 1.7 million animals churning out milk. There are also nearly 4 million beef cattle.  Vandenheuvel may not have much to worry about.

Pork Producer Julie Maschhoff on Why Trade Is Important to Hog Farmers

It’s a huge job to talk about what we are doing every day on the farm, in that back 40 acres, and what everyone else is doing in this fast-paced world, with so much change happening. We are starting to finally learn how to use Twitter.  It’s hard to connect but I have to earn your trust. I have to tell the story for farmers and ranchers. I have to explain to you what we’re doing and why, and how science influenced our decision to change.

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