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Agriculture

NRDC petitions FDA to withdraw approval of animal antibiotics

The Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Earthjustice, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Public Citizen, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and California Public Interest Research Group submit this petition under section 512(e) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360b(e), to request that the Commissioner of Food and Drugs withdraw approval of the use of medically important antibiotics in livestock and poultry for disease-prevention or growth-promotion purposes.

Independent Seed Companies Facing Consolidation and Economic Challenges

There was a time when most seed companies were local and family-owned. Today, global corporations dominate the seed business. As a result, family-owned, seed operations are facing some tough challenges. The Dow DuPont merger, the Syngenta buyout, and the proposed Monsanto Bayer merger are changing the nature of the seed business.  How are small family companies surviving?

Assessment Matrix valuable tool for Nebraska livestock siting

Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach, in consultation with an appointed committee, has approved a matrix designed to assist local officials in evaluating livestock siting applications. The development of the assessment matrix is a result of LB 106 which was passed by the Nebraska Legislature and signed by the Governor in 2015. Under the bill, NDA was directed to create the assessment matrix based on input from a committee appointed by the NDA director.

Mapping the Farm Bill: Farm and Farm Operators

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the United States is home to 2,109,303 farms. The Census defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, in the reference year. The distribution of farms across Congressional districts (114thCongress) is shown in Figure 1. As expected, farms are heavily concentrated in the Great Plains, Midwest, and Mississippi Delta regions.  As we discussed previously, the traditional farm coalition is comprised of three major commodities: corn, cotton, and wheat.

EPA: Glyphosate Not Carcinogenic

Glyphosate is likely not carcinogenic to humans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says, again, in an issue paper posted to a federal regulatory website.  The paper's release comes ahead of a scientific advisory panel meeting scheduled to run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21 in Washington, D.C.  The paper, titled "Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential," is a 227-page document outlining the voluminous studies examined by EPA to this point on the cancer-causing potential of the herbicide.

A conversation on animal welfare

More than ever, consumers care about not only where their food comes from, but how and under what conditions the animals in the food system are raised. A 2013 American Humane Association poll showed 89 percent of consumers surveyed stated they were very concerned about animal welfare with 74 percent willing to pay more for humanely raised meat, dairy and eggs. Participants of the survey also ranked humanely raised food the highest in importance over organic, natural and antibiotic-free.

Contest aims to highlight agriculture start-ups in Michigan's Thumb

Craft food and beverage makers in Michigan's Thumb area will soon compete for a $2,000 prize to help fund their new business.  The I-69 Thumb Region Catapult Your Craft Food and Beverage Business Competition will start with a local competition, before winners move on to a regional competition that includes seven counties.

Bayer to acquire Monsanto in a $66 billion deal

Bayer's acquisition of Monsanto, at $128 per share, is the largest cash bid on record. Bayer and Monsanto have signed a definitive merger agreement under which Bayer will acquire Monsanto for USD$128 per share in an all-cash transaction ($66 billion). Based on Monsanto's closing share price on May 9, the day before Bayer's first written proposal to Monsanto, the offer represents a premium of 44 percent to that price.The combined agriculture business will have its global seeds and traits and North American commercial headquarters in St.

Drought 2016 limited yields in some counties, but not everywhere

Most crops got off to a decent start this year in Ohio and Pennsylvania. But the success of the crop from mid-season onward all depended on who got the rain — and who did not.  For most of Ohio and Pennsylvania, and especially upstate New York, rain was a spotty thing that came in time for some counties, while going around others, leaving behind an unusual and unfortunate path of drought across the three states.  On the upside, heavy rains came by mid- to late August. But for many crops, especially corn, the damage had already been done. According to the U.S.

Corn farmers will lose money on virtually every cob

Pale green and 8 feet tall, tightly packed corn stalks reach to the horizon throughout the Midwest in what is likely to be the biggest harvest the U.S. has ever seen.Aside from a sense of pride in breaking the previous record by nearly a billion bushels, farmers won't benefit. They'll lose money on virtually every cob.It'll be the third consecutive year in which most corn farmers will spend more than they'll earn. The growing has been too good and the resulting glut of corn depressed prices to a decade-low.

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