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Jun 13, 2014

Dog treats, piglet virus focus of U.S. panel on China

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Incidents ranging from
Chinese dog treats pulled from U.S. pet stores to the virus that
has killed millions of American piglets has raised concerns
about the safety of food and feed imports from China, lawmakers
said on Friday.

The problems “have highlighted concerns over the
effectiveness of China’s food safety regulation, the
effectiveness of U.S. government regulation of imported foods
from China, and the overall safety of such foods,” said
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Republican
Representative Christopher Smith of New Jersey.

Jun 12, 2014

U.S. goes into battle against deadly orange disease

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday a total of $31.5 million in funding to combat a plant disease that threatens to devastate Florida’s $9 billion citrus industry and has driven up the cost of a glass of orange juice.

As many as 70 percent of Florida’s citrus trees are believed to be infected by citrus greening disease, or huanglongbing, which is caused by bacteria deposited on trees by an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.

Jun 11, 2014

Abundant grain, soybean supplies on the way: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is a month closer to bumper supplies of corn and soybeans, its major field crops, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday in a second look at the 2014/15 U.S. and world grain outlook.

Meanwhile, although the U.S. wheat crop is struggling, global supplies are on the rise. Following the report, Chicago wheat futures fell almost 2 percent to their lowest level since Feb. 28.

Jun 10, 2014

U.S. OK’s BP surveys of Alaskan oilfields; boosts drone maker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – BP has been authorized to use unmanned aircraft to conduct surveys of pipelines and other infrastructure on Alaska’s North Slope, the first commercial drone flights over U.S. land, government authorities said on Tuesday, giving a boost to the tiny aircraft’s manufacturer.

AeroVironment Inc. started flying its Puma AE drone to survey BP’s pipelines, roads and equipment at Prudhoe Bay, the largest U.S. oilfield, on Sunday, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

May 29, 2014

U.S. 2014 agricultural exports near record $150 billion

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – U.S. agricultural exports for
fiscal 2014 will reach a record $149.5 billion, the Department
of Agriculture said on Thursday, higher than its earlier
forecast of $142.6 billion and up 6 percent on the year.

The forecast for the U.S. agricultural trade surplus in
fiscal 2014 is up $6.3 billion from the February estimate to $39
billion, its second highest ever. The fiscal year started on
Oct. 1 and will end on Sept. 30.

May 29, 2014

U.S. 2014 agricultural exports near record $150 billion

WASHINGTON, May 29 (Reuters) – U.S. agricultural exports for
fiscal 2014 will reach a record $149.5 billion, the Department
of Agriculture said on Thursday, higher than its earlier
forecast of $142.6 billion and up 6 percent on the year.

The forecast for the U.S. agricultural trade surplus in
fiscal 2014 is up $6.3 billion from the February estimate to $39
billion, its second highest ever. The fiscal year started on
Oct. 1 and will end on Sept. 30.

May 23, 2014

U.S. faces higher food price inflation in 2014, led by meats: USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The severe drought in California could have a lasting effect on U.S. fruit, dairy and egg prices, while prices for meats, especially beef, look likely to continue climbing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday.

The agency said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014.

May 16, 2014

Snowden fallout still echoes across cyber industry

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden changed lives in the cyber community, from slowdowns in obtaining high-level security clearances to providing material for a “really good comedy routine.”

Experts at the Reuters Cybersecurity Summit this week were asked how Snowden, now living under asylum in Russia after exposing the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet spying programs in 2013, altered their worlds.

Apr 18, 2014

USDA will require reporting of killer piglet virus PEDv

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In an expected move, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced new measures to combat the spread of disease in the U.S. pig population.

The agency said it would require reporting of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has killed millions of piglets over the past year, and the Swine Delta Coronavirus.

Apr 10, 2014

Democratic senators press Obama for Keystone decision by May 31

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eleven U.S. Democratic senators urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to make a final decision on whether to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast no later than May 31.

“We need a definitive timeline laid out, a timeline that reduces the comment period for federal agencies, officials and other entities,” the senators wrote to Obama. “We cannot miss another construction season.”

    • 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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