Family-owned Perdue Farms, one of the major U.S. poultry processors, is buying Niman Ranch, a producer of antibiotic-free meat and cage-free eggs, said Meating Place.
British researchers have genetically engineered a chicken that is less susceptible to bird flu than other chickens and that does not infect its flockmates. "But these promising chickens ... won't likely gate-crash their way into poultry production any time soon," says Reuters.
China is a tiny market for ethanol imports but producers in the United States and Brazil are stirred by an upturn in sales, says Reuters.
Banking giant Wells Fargo may sell its crop insurance subsidiary, says Reuters, quoting a bank spokeswoman.
Trade groups speaking for U.S. chicken and hog farmers asked the government to withdraw, or at a minimum restrict, trade benefits for South Africa until it provides more access for U.S. meat imports, reports Feedstuffs.
"The dining tribe that craves breakfast morning, noon and night" is behind the switch by companies from McDonald's to Golden Corral to experiment with all-day breakfast, says Reuters.
Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels continue to decline in the Pacific Northwest, where streamflows have shriveled to record or near-record lows, says the weekly Drought Monitor.
Two relatively unknown environmental groups "have increasingly dominated the process of species protection" and prompted a backlash by pro-business Republicans in Congress, says Reuters.
The Chinese government offered to sell 4.6 million bales, or 1 million tonnes, of state-owned cotton at prices ranging from 97 cents to $1.13 per pound from a stockpile estimated at nearly 67 million bales.
Japanese media say Tokyo "is prepared to increase its import quota for U.S. rice by 50,000 tonnes a year, about a quarter of the U.S. goal, Reuters said at the end of bilateral talks between trade negotiators.
Three-dozen consumer groups and businesses asked the USDA to tighten its regulation of crops containing genetically modified organisms as part of an overhaul of its regulatory system, said Reuters.
The weedkiller 2,4-D is "possibly carcinogenic to humans," says the International Agency for Research of Cancer, the same WHO agency that classified glyphosate, the most widely used weedkiller in the world, as probably carcinogenic.
While drought is entrenched in the West, it has disappeared in the rest of the country for the most part. Some 23 percent of the contiguous United States is in drought, a drop of 15 points since the first week of May, says the Drought Monitor.
A U.S. agricultural coalition said it hoped for an end to the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba now that the nations agreed to re-open embassies in each other's capital.
China, the world's largest importer and consumer of cotton, "will start to sell down its massive cotton stockpile this year," says Reuters. Beijing holds half, or more, of the world's stockpile of cotton.
In a Bloomberg interview, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the government may spend more than half a billion dollars to fight the avian-influenza epidemic and to compensate poultry producers for their flocks.
South Africa to resume imports of U.S. bone-in chicken meat, "initially 65,000 tonnes a year, under an agreement reach by the two countries," said Reuters.
U.S. Bank is willing to pay $44.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit by customers of Peregrine Financial Group, which collapsed in 2012 after funds were siphoned away by the brokerage's founder, said Reuters.