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  • July 3- Health insurer Aetna Inc said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever deal in the insurance industry. The combination will push Aetna close to Anthem Inc's No.2 insurer spot by membership, and would nearly triple Aetna's Medicare Advantage business. Antitrust authorities, who were aggressive in...

  • July 2- U.S health insurer Aetna Inc is nearing an agreement to buy rival Humana Inc for about $34 billion in a cash and stock deal, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday. One person said Aetna's offer would value Humana at about $230 per share and that a deal could be announced as early as Friday. A $230 per share offer would be at a premium of nearly...

  • John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer, said in a statement. The H5N2 strain has cost poultry producers around 48 million birds since early March, according to USDA figures, hitting Iowa egg producers and Minnesota turkey growers especially hard. As part of the USDA's plans, federal and state biologists will collect around 41,000 samples from...

  • JBS USA to buy Cargill pork business for $1.45 billion Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 5:38 PM ET

    JBS USA, a division of Sao Paulo, Brazil- based JBS, and Cargill said Wednesday they have signed an agreement for the $1.45 billion transaction. JBS USA Pork Chief Operating Officer Martin Dooley says it's a strategic investment in the long-term growth of the company's U.S. pork business. Feed mills in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas are included, along with hog...

  • SAO PAULO, July 1- JBS SA, the world's largest meatpacker, said on Wednesday its U.S. division would purchase pork assets from Cargill meat solutions for $1.45 billion, free of debt. The announcement follows a deal announced by Brazil- based JBS on June 21 to purchase Moy Park Ltd, the British unit of rival Marfrig Global Foods SA. The Cargill pork purchase includes two...

  • JBS USA Pork to buy Cargill pork business for $1.45 bln Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 4:48 PM ET

    July 1- Cargill Inc said JBS USA Pork would buy its U.S.-based pork business for $1.45 billion. The acquisition includes two meat processing plants in Iowa and Illnois. JBS USA is a unit of Brazil- based meat processing company JBS S.A..

  • June economic report echoes previous signs for Midwest Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 | 8:22 AM ET

    "Much weaker business conditions for firms tied to energy are restraining the overall reading," said Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey. "Weaker conditions were particularly evident in Oklahoma and North Dakota, two energy-producing states. The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota,...

  • And if the industry is as predatory as the Education Department and many lawmakers suggest, why didn't they stop it? That's when an Education Department memo written under President George W. Bush suggested colleges wouldn't be severely penalized if they compensated college recruiters for getting students in the door. The top regulator on higher education...

  • WASHINGTON— In the first presidential race since Democrats cast the GOP nominee as an out-of-touch millionaire, Republican Jeb Bush is aggressively trying to flip the script. But they also show that Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton made more in speaking fees and book royalties alone in the past year and a half than Bush and his wife...

  • SIOUX CITY, Iowa— A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided "substantial assistance" in the salmonella case.

  • The planted soybean acreage is 2 percent more than in 2014, with the largest increases found in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Tennessee. Corn and soybean conditions in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio have shown deterioration in recent weeks with the heavy rain. Missouri and Illinois have experienced the wettest Junes since the National Weather Service...

  • Political opposition groups gain money for 2016 race Monday, 29 Jun 2015 | 3:08 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— It was the perfect loop: The Republican opposition research group America Rising finds footage of Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley in agriculture-loving Iowa, seeming to put down the intelligence of farmers. So does America Rising, which used that episode in Iowa last year to show prospective clients and donors what it can do.

  • MILWAUKEE— A proposed hog "megafarm" in northern Wisconsin is raising concerns among some residents that millions of gallons of pig manure will eventually wash off the land and pollute Lake Superior. An Iowa business plans to produce thousands of pigs annually a few miles from Ashland and the shore of Chequamegon Bay. If plans are approved by state and federal...

  • CEDAR FALLS, Iowa— Cedar Falls residents will decide Tuesday whether to back a $35 million bond issue that would help increase elementary school capacity. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the district wants to expand Orchard Hill and North Cedar elementary schools while also building a seventh elementary school. "They need to do something here, for...

  • *Wheat up as rain could impede U.S. harvest. Wheat rose on fears that storms could prevent the U.S. crop being gathered just as thousands of harvesters are rolling onto fields. Chicago Board of Trade July corn was up 1.06 percent at $3.80-1/ 4 a bushel at 0951 GMT after touching a session peak of $3.80-3/ 4, the highest since April 23.

  • June 25- The U.S. turkey slaughter in May tumbled 12 percent from the prior month, government data on Thursday showed, as the country's worst-ever case of bird flu decimated flocks in top producer Minnesota and surrounding states. More than 7.7 million turkeys have been killed by highly pathogenic avian influenza or culled to control its spread since December,...

  • Thursday's event in Kansas City, Kansas, is the only public hearing the EPA plans before making a decision in November on the renewable fuel standard program. The EPA says it's reducing the volumes because infrastructure inadequacies limit how much can be consumed and because the industry isn't able to produce enough non-ethanol fuels to meet the...

  • Winnebago tops 3Q profit forecasts Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 | 7:18 AM ET

    FOREST CITY, Iowa _ Winnebago Industries Inc. on Thursday reported fiscal third-quarter profit of $11.5 million. The average estimate of three analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 43 cents per share. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $266.9 million.

  • STEVENSON, Ala.— Google is converting an old coal-burning power plant in Alabama into a sleek data center running on renewable energy to fuel the additional computing capacity needed to process Internet search requests, show digital video, give directions, deliver email and store photos. The utility's board of directors decided to close the plant earlier this...

  • Because of the number of those wanting to speak, the EPA is bringing in a second panel so the hearings can be conducted in two separate groups. They are the only public hearings planned on the issue before the EPA announces its decision. "There would be widespread noncompliance, and the EPA is not in the habit of putting out standards we don't think are achievable," he...