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Agriculture

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  • California's drought: Getting grimmer, say experts Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 3:43 PM ET
    A footbridge spans a dry river bed in Porterville, Calif.

    Hopes that winter rains would help ease California's drought appear to be going by the wayside, according to forecasts. The outlook looks grim.

  • Appeals court revives Syngenta, Bunge GMO lawsuit Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 3:07 PM ET

    DES MOINES, Iowa— A federal appeals court gave agricultural chemical-maker Syngenta Seeds hope Monday that it may be able to proceed with a lawsuit against grain storage and transportation company Bunge North America for refusing to accept one of Syngenta's genetically modified corn varieties. Syngenta sued Bunge in 2011, claiming it illegally refused to...

  • New atlas will help find 'gaps' in crop production Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 2:45 PM ET

    LINCOLN, Neb.— A new mapping tool unveiled Monday and developed by the University of Nebraska and other project partners could help boost global crop production while conserving land and water. The Global Yield Gap Atlas allows farmers, governments and businesses to estimate the "gap" between potential and actual crop yields based on plant, soil and climate data...

  • Grain mixed, beef higher and pork lower Monday, 20 Oct 2014 | 10:50 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were mixed Monday on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Dec delivery fell 2.50 cents to $5.1350 a bushel; Dec corn was. 25 cent higher at 3.4825 a bushel; Dec oats rose 2.75 cents to $3.5050 a bushel; while Nov soybeans declined 7.50 cents to $9.4425 a bushel. Dec live cattle rose 2.97 cents to $1.6802 a pound; Nov feeder cattle was 2.67 cents...

  • SYDNEY, Oct 20- Australia's government is looking at investing in nearly 30 irrigation schemes and reigniting a long-stalled program of dam building to combat growing water shortages constraining agricultural production. Australia has previously floated ambitious plans to use dams and irrigation to develop marginal land in the outback, but financial...

  • Australia has previously floated ambitious plans to use dams and irrigation to develop marginal land in the outback, but financial and environmental constraints meant it has not built a major new dam in decades. Australia is considering some level of investment in 28 potential projects, with six irrigation projects in Tasmania and Victoria seen as the most...

  • CHICAGO, Oct 20- The largest U.S. grain harvest in history has pushed prices to four-year lows, which usually means a sales bonanza for the world's largest food exporter. Traditional rivals and aggressive new competitors with their own huge harvests, such as Ukraine and Russia, are leveraging the dollar's strength to snap up a bigger share of a market that is...

  • Tahoe level at 5-year low; no Truckee River flows Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 4:47 PM ET

    RENO, Nev.— Lingering drought has helped push Lake Tahoe's water level below its natural rim for the first time in five years, cutting off flows into the Truckee River, which has been reduced to a shallow stream as it meanders down the Sierra through Reno. The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is confident it has more than enough reserves in a string of reservoirs...

  • Grain mostly lower, livestock mixed Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 10:51 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were lower Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Dec delivery was 2.25 cents lower at $5.1475 a bushel; Dec corn was 3.75 cents lower at $3.4850 a bushel; Dec oats were unchanged at $3.47 a bushel; while Nov soybeans lost 9.50 cents at $9.57 a bushel. Dec live cattle was. 30 cent lower $1.6500 pound; Nov feeder cattle was...

  • Oct 17- Railroad operator Kansas City Southern's reported a higher-than-expected quarterly revenue as it shipped more grains and automobiles. Kansas City Southern operates on a unique, north-south route in central United States and derives half of its annual revenue from cross-border business with Mexico. Exports from the United States to Mexico rose...

  • Biofuels plant harbinger of renewable fuel future Friday, 17 Oct 2014 | 4:39 AM ET

    WICHITA, Kan.— A new biofuels plant in southwest Kansas represents the future of ethanol production in the United States, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. The $500 million biorefinery in Hugoton is one of only three commercially sized plants in the country that use only plant waste, such as stalks and leaves, for production and thus do not compete for food crops.

  • Oct 16- Chicago grain and soybean futures rose on Thursday on technical buying, rebounding from losses in the previous session that were due to forecasts for favorable harvest weather in the week ahead. The CBOE volatility index, the fear gauge of financial markets, hit its highest level since November 2011 and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq briefly fell into negative...

  • Oct 16- U.S. farmers are cutting back on spreading fertilizer this autumn in response to a drop in crop prices to multi-year lows and a delayed harvest, dealers say, warning of a pullback that will be felt from grain markets to Canadian potash mines. Reductions in fertilizer use of an estimated 10 to 50 percent by volume could hit profits of producers such as Potash...

  • Va. aquacultures sales rise, operations decline Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 1:11 PM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.— Aquaculture sales in Virginia have increased despite a decline in the number of commercial operations. The census conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service shows that mollusks accounted for more than half of the sales. Spencer Neale with the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation says aquaculture...

  • Grain higher, livestock mixed Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 10:57 AM ET

    CHICAGO— Grain futures were higher Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for Dec delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.07 a bushel; Dec corn was 1.75 cents higher at $3.4825 a bushel; Dec oats were unchanged at $3.4350 a bushel; while Nov soybeans gained 2 cents at $9.5450 a bushel. Dec live cattle was. 73 cents higher $1.6320 pound; Nov feeder cattle...

  • Va. crop report sees gains in soybeans, cotton Thursday, 16 Oct 2014 | 2:16 AM ET

    RICHMOND, Va.— Soybeans, cotton and peanuts are up, but corn and alfalfa hay are down, according to the latest crop production report for Virginia. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the forecasts are based on conditions of Oct. 1. Another signature Virginia crop, peanuts, is expected near 80 million pounds, up 28 percent from last year.

  • The herbicide is approved immediately for use in six states, and the EPA is evaluating expansion to additional states. "EPA has not followed the law," said Greg Loarie, an attorney with Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law organization that is evaluating legal action to try to stop the commercialization of Enlist Duo. Loarie said EPA also failed to fully...

  • In announcing the decision, EPA said it had thoroughly evaluated the risks, including those for endangered species, that come with what is expected to be a large increase in the use of the chemical agent 2,4- D, which is an active ingredient of Enlist Duo. "EPA has not followed the law," said Greg Loarie, an attorney with Earthjustice, a non-profit environmental law...

  • EPA said it was applying "first-time-ever restrictions" on its approval of the herbicide, called Enlist Duo, which is designed to be used with new genetically modified crops developed by Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical. EPA said the approval lays out a template of new requirements for future approvals of herbicides designed for use with genetically...

  • World may not have enough food by 2050: Report Wednesday, 15 Oct 2014 | 12:03 PM ET
    Farmers harvest rice on a field next to residential buildings on the outskirts of Hanoi on October 13, 2014.

    A new report says unless the world increases its agriculture production now, a growing population may not have enough food by 2050.