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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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Friday, October 3,2014

Crunch time for beef demand

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Beef demand has been a pleasant surprise so far this year. Wholesale and retail beef prices have increased fast enough to maintain decent margins for beef packers and allow feedlots profitability for the first three quarters of the year.

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Friday, May 9,2014

Climate change stressing soil: more efforts needed

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Soil conservation practices will become more critical as weather volatility increases with higher temperatures and rising atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels, said one of the lead authors of the agriculture chapter in the National Climate Assessment released last Tuesday.

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Friday, March 7,2014

States take crack at California egg law

by Chris Clayton - DTN
The six states are suing the attorney general and agriculture secretary of California, arguing the Golden State is violating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution with a state statute imposing hen layer space requirements for all eggs sold in California.

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Friday, January 31,2014

Agency must clarify normal on-farm grain handling activities

by Chris Clayton - DTN
A top administrator with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration held a press call Wednesday to clear up some confusion on OSHA’s farm exemption. Following new commands from Congress last week, OSHA also is now consulting with USDA on ways farmers handle grain after harvest.

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Friday, January 10,2014

OSHA goes against the grain; inspections and fining farms draws the ire of senators

by Chris Clayton - DTN
Sen. Mike Johanns (R- NE) is drawing attention to OSHA’s move to regulate on-farm grain bins. Saying, “Grain bins and family farms go together like the State Fair and 4-H,” Johanns became incredulous in mid-December over a potential $132,000 fine hanging over a Nebraska farm operation because of an OSHA inspection.

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