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Sep 11, 2014

Big crop gets bigger: USDA raises U.S. corn, soybean estimates

WASHINGTON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybean
production in 2014, already pegged at record highs, will be
higher than expected a month ago and somewhat above trade
expectations, the U.S. government said on Thursday, triggering a
swift drop in Chicago grain markets.

Soybean futures fell about 1.5 percent to a new
contract low on the Department of Agriculture report, corn
skidded about 2.5 percent and wheat, already at its lowest
since July 2010, extended its losses to about 1.3 percent on a
larger-than-expected jump in projected world stocks.

Sep 9, 2014

U.S. proposes rules to prevent runaway trains packed with explosive goods

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. authorities on Tuesday proposed measures to prevent unattended freight trains from causing accidents, the latest of several steps meant to improve oil train safety after a string of serious mishaps in the United States and Canada.

Among other things the rules would prevent trains transporting specific hazardous materials from being left unattended on a mainline track or side track outside a railyard, and call for secure locks to be installed on locomotive doors to prevent unauthorized access.

Sep 3, 2014

Slightly fewer U.S. households lacking enough food -USDA

WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The percentage of Americans
regarded as “food insecure” – lacking access to enough food for
a healthy life – has edged down in the past few years but still
represents over 17 million households, the U.S. Agriculture
Department said on Wednesday.

About 14.3 percent of households were termed food insecure
in 2013, down from 14.9 percent in 2011.

Sep 3, 2014

Fewer U.S. households lacking enough food – USDA

WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – The percentage of Americans
regarded as “food insecure” – lacking access to enough food for
a healthy life – has declined in the past few years but still
represents over 17 million households, the U.S. Agriculture
Department said on Wednesday.

About 14.3 percent of households were termed food insecure
in 2013, down from 14.9 percent in 2011.

Aug 26, 2014

U.S. says non-allergic peanut moves closer to commercial reality

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new method for removing allergens from peanuts means help could soon be on the way for the roughly 2.8 million Americans with a potentially life-threatening allergy to the popular food, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

In a blog post, the agency said researchers at North Carolina A&T State University have found a way to reduce peanut allergens by 98 percent to 100 percent by focusing on certain proteins that can trigger food-related anaphylaxis, a severe, whole-body allergic reaction.

Aug 25, 2014

USDA raises beef, pork prices forecasts on drought, disease

WASHINGTON, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Retail prices for many U.S.
meats, already at record highs, continue to rise on a
combination of drought and disease, but overall food cost
increases remain near long-term averages, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture said on Monday.

The agency now forecasts pork, beef and veal prices to rise
by 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2014, up from 5.5 to 6.5 percent
forecast a month ago. The overall “meats, poultry and fish”
category will rise by 4 to 5 percent.

Aug 18, 2014

Cost of raising a child in U.S. tops $245,000, USDA says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An average middle-income family in the United States can expect to spend about $245,000 over 18 years to raise a child born in 2013, the U.S. government estimated on Monday.

The Department of Agriculture’s annual “Cost of Raising a Child” report showed child-rearing costs – which reflect food, housing, childcare, education and other expenses – were up about 1.8 percent from 2012.

Aug 15, 2014

U.S. court upholds FERC rules on electric grid planning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. court on Friday upheld rules from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission calling on utilities to take various actions, including increased planning of large transmission projects.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed FERC’s “Order 1000,” a series of measures from 2011 that requires large-scale regional planning of the nation’s electric grid designed in part to create greater access to renewable energy.

Aug 13, 2014

U.S. sets new ground beef procedures to stop E. coli outbreaks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced new procedures for detecting and removing unsafe ground beef from grocery stores and suppliers as part of efforts to prevent potentially deadly illnesses caused by contaminated meat.

The move “will allow the agency to trace contaminated ground beef back to its source more quickly, remove it from commerce, and find the root cause of the incident to prevent it from recurring,” said USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Aug 12, 2014

U.S. to harvest record corn, soy crops, pushing stocks up: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. corn production in 2014 will crack the 14-billion-bushel mark for the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday, although the crop forecast was slightly below trade expectations and could provide relief to the beaten-down corn futures market.

Soybean production will also be a record, setting up a tripling of ending stocks in 2014/15.

    • About Ros

      "Ros Krasny is Boston Bureau Chief, leading coverage of the New England scene. She was previously a regional Federal Reserve correspondent based in Chicago, and spent many years writing about agricultural commodity markets with Bridge News and Knight-Ridder Financial news."
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