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China money, market spur Canadian blueberry deluge

An aging mansion sits vacant on an estate outside Vancouver, the garage overtaken by a blueberry sorter and a walk-in cooler packed with the fruit. The owner, an investor from mainland China, leases the estate to Fred Liu at such a bargain the farmer grows blueberries in its fields even though the bottom has fallen out of the market.  As it turns out, the same wave of Chinese wealth that has fueled real estate booms in cities like New York, Sydney and San Francisco and stoked the art market worldwide also has contributed to an unexpected glut of blueberries.

Why Monsanto Moved Forward with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend Soybeans

Off-target movement of dicamba has damaged thousands of soybean acres in the bootheel of Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee. The damage is linked to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready 2 Xtend soybeans that tolerate dicamba.  Following Chinese approval last February, Monsanto released Xtend varieties for planting in 2016. These soybeans tolerate both glyphosate and dicamba applications.  However, federal regulators did not approve a key link of this system — new dicamba formulations low in volatility potential. Existing dicamba formulations could not be used on Xtend soybeans in 2016

Lawsuits mounting against Monsanto over alleged cancer-causing ingredients in Roundup

Several law firms in Illinois are mounting a case against a multinational agrochemical manufacturer, claiming one of the ingredients in its herbicide product causes cancer.  In what could become a class-action suit against Monsanto Co., several law firms are banding together to find clients who allegedly have been affected by the company’s Roundup product, which they claim has caused cancer in several consumers.  Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was declared by the World Health Organization earlier this year as a probable carcinogen to humans.

N.D. ag commissioner takes aim at animal cruelty training for law enforcement

North Dakota's top agriculture official warned Monday that training provided by the Humane Society of the United States on how to handle animal cruelty cases poses a threat to the state's livestock industry, but an HSUS spokesman said that's untrue and trainers are only going where invited.Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said he believes the Humane Society's intentions behind the training "are misleading as they have a long history as an animal rights activist organization with the intention of ending animal agriculture." "HSUS is encouraging and training law enforcement to identify

The drought no one is talking about in the southeastern United States

Crops are wilting in the fields in several states in the southeastern United States from an extreme drought that has crept up under the radar of most people living outside the region.  Farmers in northern Georgia, northeast Alabama, southeast Tennessee, western North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina are desperate for rain as harvest time nears. Combined with above average heat this summer, the corn crop in numerous counties has already been wiped out.

Purdue survey: Indiana farmland values continue to fall

Indiana farmland values have continued their downward trend of last year, with average declines of 8.2 to 8.7 percent depending on land quality, according to the 2016 Purdue Farmland Value Survey. Declines of this size have not been seen since the mid-1980s.

Over the past two years, the average farmland value has fallen about 13 percent. The declines are largely the result of tighter profit margins from low commodity prices.

Tyson: Chicken mishandling led to workers’ dismissal

Two workers at Tyson Foods contract broiler farms have been terminated while other workers have been suspended.  In addition, other contract farm employees have been placed on suspension, pending the outcome of a full investigation of the alleged animal mistreatment incidents.

Pesticides used by beekeepers may harm bees' gut microbiota

Beekeepers use a variety of other types of pesticides thought to help bees by ridding their hives of parasites and associated pathogens.  A new study suggests these seemingly beneficial pesticides may be harming bees' gut microbiota, the community of microbes that help bees and their digestive system metabolize sugars and peptides.

Move Over, El Niño, La Niña To Affect Fall Weather

AccuWeather recently released its fall 2016 forecast. The weather forecasting service reports warm weather is predicted across much of the eastern U.S., as the weather pattern transitions to La Niña this fall. Meanwhile, developing dryness and worsening drought conditions will grip the majority of the western U.S. The Northwest may mark the only exception where cooler air will rule as a result of frequent showers.

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