‘It’s really up to China,’ says Perdue in assessing course of trade war

The USDA began preparing for a trade war with China last fall, before President Trump confronted Beijing over unfair practices or imposed tariffs on Chinese imports, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. Perdue said he would prefer a speedy settlement of the tit-for-tat battle of tariffs, but, "It's really up to China."

Senators protest using farmers as pawns in China-U.S. trade battle

The White House ought to be expanding agriculture export markets rather than disrupting relations with leading trade partners, said farm-state senators during a hearing with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. Sales to the three largest export markets—China, Canada and Mexico—are at …

Perdue’s spotty past presents ongoing ethics concerns, advocacy group says

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brings with him a legacy of ethics violations, climate denialism, and deregulation, all of which could threaten the future of the Department of Agriculture, argues a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. The report, out today, gathers information from Perdue’s past political career and his current administrative and policy choices to analyze whether and how the Secretary’s tenure could have a long-lasting negative affect on agricultural research and policy.

USDA says it again: No costly reviews for gene-edited plants

Emphasizing that "USDA seeks to allow innovation when there is no risk present," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reiterated that USDA does not regulate nor plan to regulate plants developed through new breeding techniques such as gene editing. The exception would be plants that pose a pest or noxious weed threat or are developed using plant pests.

Perdue doubles down on support for SNAP Harvest Box program

At the annual USDA Ag Outlook Forum, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue doubled down on his support for the recently proposed “Harvest Box” food stamp program. Perdue provided some elaboration on his vision for the program but offered little evidence of growing support. (No paywall)

Top poultry producers face second price-fixing lawsuit

Two grocers last week filed a price-fixing lawsuit against the country’s top poultry processors. The suit alleges that the processors, including Tyson Foods, Koch Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Perdue Farms, have conspired to fix the price of broiler chickens over the course of several decades.

Perdue gets high marks from activists on its chicken reforms

The 21-day-old chicken — white-feathered, dark-eyed, with a brush-cut of pale yellow bristles above its beak — climbed carefully up a ramp, teetered briefly at the top, then launched itself into space. It landed on another bird, flapped hard, and gave its accidental landing pad an apologetic peck. Then it wandered off into a crowd of more than 49,000 chickens just like it that were hopping into boxes, poking their beaks into straw bales, and settling in pools of sunlight for a snooze.

Interview: Perdue finds animal welfare makes a better bird

Animal-welfare measures created last year by giant poultry company Perdue Farms Inc., in a break with traditional poultry raising practices, are starting to show results, Perdue executives said last week. In an interview in Atlanta at the International Production and Processing Expo, the largest annual meeting of the poultry business, Perdue chairman Jim Perdue and Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of food safety, quality and live operations, told FERN’s Ag Insider the measures, which focus on “what a chicken wants,” are producing more active, higher quality birds.

Humane Society: Perdue leads the pack on animal-welfare

The Humane Society of the U.S. praised Perdue, the country’s fourth-largest poultry producer, for a series of animal-welfare reforms that it called “meaningful and precedent-setting.” The reforms include installing windows in poultry houses to allow more natural light; giving each bird more space; putting the birds to sleep before slaughter; and testing slower-growing breeds.