Perdue buys antibiotic-free Niman Ranch

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.

A chicken that doesn’t pass along bird flu … but it’s GMO

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.

Biofuel makers in the U.S. and Brazil hope China becomes big buyer

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.

Wells Fargo may sell its crop insurance company

Banking giant Wells Fargo may sell its crop insurance subsidiary, says Reuters, quoting a bank spokeswoman.

South Africa unfair to U.S. chicken and pork, say ag groups

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.

‘Breakfastarians’ drive shift to all-day breakfast menus

"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.

Drought deepens in Pacific Northwest, heat blamed in fish kill

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.

Lawmakers parry green groups on sage grouse listing

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.

China to sell some surplus cotton, but stocks will remain large

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.

Japan offers less access to rice market than U.S. wants

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.

Groups urge USDA to set tighter rules for GMO crops

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.

WHO agency says 2,4-D weedkiller is “possibly carcinogenic”

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.

Rainy month erases drought from much of the United States

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.

Embassy pact fuels hope for end of U.S. embargo on Cuba

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 to sell part of its massive cotton stockpile

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.

USDA pricetag for bird-flu epidemic may top $500 million

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. chicken meat

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 to pay $44.5 million in brokerage-fraud case

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.

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