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Nov 25, 2014

U.S. farm profits to slump along with grain prices -USDA

WASHINGTON, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Falling grain prices and
rising expenses will drag 2014 U.S. farm sector profits to their
lowest since 2010 and have resulting effects that include less
capital investment and a moderation of growth in farmland
values, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

At the same time farm sector debt is expected to rise 3.1
percent, increasing more than assets for the first time since
2009, with much of the increase from non-real estate loans.

Nov 25, 2014

Forget the brisket – U.S. beef prices still spiraling up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Retail prices for U.S. beef and pork, already at record highs, will increase significantly again in 2015 on a combination of disease and the drought in Southern Plains, the Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday.

“Meat prices will likely continue to experience the effects of the Texas/Oklahoma drought and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) in the immediate future,” the agency said.

Nov 20, 2014

Thanksgiving meal costs barely rise as price of turkey slips

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A small decline in turkey prices helped hold the increase in the cost of preparing a Thanksgiving meal for 10 to less than 1 percent this year, the country’s largest farm group said on Thursday.

Ingredients for a typical holiday feast, with turkey and all the trimmings, averaged $49.41, up 37 cents from $49.04 in 2013, the American Farm Bureau Federation said in its 29th annual survey.

Nov 19, 2014

U.S. farmers set to get huge government payouts despite bumper harvest

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. farmers are about to reap a bumper harvest not just in corn and soybeans but also in new subsidies that could soar to $10 billion, blowing a hole in the government’s promise that its new five-year farm bill would save taxpayers money.

If payments for 2014, the first year the farm bill takes effect, do come in at that level – as some private economists have calculated – they would be more than 10 times the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s working estimate and more than double the forecast by the Congressional Budget Office.

Nov 14, 2014

Obama, in latest climate move, to pledge $3 billion for global fund

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will announce a $3 billion U.S. contribution to an international fund to help poor countries cope with the affects of climate change, an administration official said on Friday.

The large size of the contribution took climate policy watchers by surprise and doubles what other countries had previously pledged ahead of a Nov. 20 deadline. It would be the second major move on climate change taken by Obama after big Democratic losses in last week’s midterm elections.

Nov 13, 2014

Keystone pipeline approval bills advance in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Legislation to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline began racing through the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans appeared to be coming together in a challenge of President Barack Obama’s oversight of the project.

In a series of rapid developments that unfolded just hours after Congress returned from a seven-week recess, there were indications the measure could pass and be sent to Obama sometime next week.

Nov 10, 2014

USDA trims bin-busting U.S. corn crop, raises soybeans again

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – The 2014 U.S. corn crop,
while still a record, will be slightly below recent market
expectations according to government data released on Monday,
giving a small boost to beaten-down corn prices, while soybean
production continues to rise.

CBOT corn futures rose about 6 cents per bushel on the
bullishly construed data. Soybean futures were pressured
by USDA’s holding its ending stocks estimates steady, triggering
profit taking by traders.

Nov 7, 2014

U.S. OKs genetically modified potato with lower cancer risk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday approved the first genetically modified potato for commercial planting in the United States, a move likely to draw the ire of groups opposed to artificial manipulation of foods.

The so-called Innate potato, developed by the J.R. Simplot Company, is engineered to contain less of a suspected human carcinogen that occurs when a conventional potato is fried, and is also less prone to bruising during transport.

Oct 31, 2014

China lifts suspension on Washington State delicious apples

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China will lift its suspension on the import of red and golden delicious apples from Washington State, reopening a market once valued at about $6.5 million a year, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Friday.

The restrictions were placed in August 2012 by Chinese quarantine authorities due to the repeated interception of three apple pests: speck rot, bull’s-eye rot, and Sphaeropsis rot.

Oct 29, 2014

Snap to it: U.S. mulls adding turtles to endangered species list

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government has proposed adding four types of freshwater turtles to an international endangered species list, in part to better monitor exports of the species, whose meat is considered a delicacy in Asia.

Under the plan the common snapping turtle, Florida softshell turtle, smooth softshell turtle and spiny softshell turtle would be listed under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a global pact ratified by 180 countries.

    • 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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