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Friday, February 20,2015

Packer ownership ban for hogs debated in Nebraska

by Chris Clayton - DTN
At a hearing last week, Schilz told fellow state senators that Nebraska lags behind neighboring states in hog finishing units. Nebraska hog farmers are generally farrowing pigs then sending a large share of those feeders out of state for other farmers to grow to market weight.

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Friday, February 20,2015

Former GIPSA official told not to investigate COOL

by Chris Clayton - DTN
The former top enforcer of USDA’s livestock marketing rules wanted to investigate whether U.S. meatpackers were illegally discriminating against Canadian and Mexican livestock because of country-of-origin labeling six years ago, but advisers to the Agriculture Secretary told Dudley Butler not to pursue such a case.

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Friday, January 30,2015

Meat industry groups back TPA

by Chris Clayton - DTN
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Chicken Council (NCC), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and National Turkey Federation all issued statements Monday in a concerted effort to draw attention to TPA and their interest in getting a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal completed.

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Friday, January 23,2015

Obama portrays rosy economy

by Chris Clayton - DTN
An upbeat president suggested recent economic optimism coming over the country goes beyond simply an improving economy. The country is riding a wave of lower unemployment coupled with lower gas prices, prompting both the White House and congressional leaders to claim credit for the economy.

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Monday, December 29,2014

Congress wants to study USDA

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Vilsack, in a phone interview with DTN earlier this month, expressed his frustration with some of the policy riders in the $1.1 trillion funding bill Congress approved. The policy restrictions ranged from blocking the secretary from creating a new beef checkoff to preventing the Farm Service Agency from eliminating its smallest offices nationally.

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Monday, December 29,2014

USDA dropping checkoff plan

by Chris Clayton - DTN
In a phone interview, Vilsack said USDA won’t pursue efforts to create another checkoff under the 1996 commodity promotion law. A policy rider in the recently passed and signed federal appropriations bill prevents USDA from continuing to write a rule for the plan during this fiscal year.

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Friday, December 19,2014

Ag a winner in Cuba diplomacy; exports could rise with changing rules

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Cuba has about 11.3 million people, which ranks it slightly below the population of Ohio. Trade with the country has revolved mainly around agriculture and medical supplies. Sales have been up and down over the past decade because restrictions would be lifted then reinstated and then lifted again.

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Friday, December 12,2014

Former GMO critic‚s change of heart

by Chris Clayton - DTN
A British author and environmentalist, Lynas gained his reputation in the 1990s as a leader in European campaigns against genetically engineered crops. He helped build resistance to GMOs that remains entrenched in Europe today. There are online videos of Lynas throwing a pie at an author who wrote an environmental book Lynas and others opposed.

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Friday, November 28,2014

No agreement on tax extenders; delay will affect tax filers

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Sen. Charles Grassley (R- IA) says it’s bad for the economy if more than 50 tax breaks for businesses are not reauthorized by the end of the year, but the White House might actively oppose a bill unless certain provisions are added for middle-class families.

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Friday, October 17,2014

Ebola guts food production in West Africa; impact very severe

by Chris Clayton - DTN
While the United States finds itself coming to grips with a handful of Ebola cases, agricultural ministers in West Africa say the virus is ripping through their countries not only through infection, but also further exacerbating hunger and wrecking any plans to revitalize the region’s farm production.

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