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Agriculture Briefs

Agriculture Stories


Mar 16 2014 California Drought Leads To Higher Food Prices

FRESNO - California is a major farming state, and a serious drought is hurting its farmers and raising the likelihood of higher food prices throughout the United States. In the state’s Central Valley water-starved farms are cutting production.
Last year was the driest on record in California, and this year may be just as dry.
Some reservoirs are […]


Feb 8 2014 US Farm Bill Ends Automatic Payments To Farmers

WASHINGTON - U.S. farmers will no longer get automatic checks from the government under new agriculture legislation President Obama signed into law Friday.  But critics say the new Farm Bill simply replaces the old subsidies with new ones that may violate international trade rules.  The bill also includes reforms in how the U.S. helps the […]


Jan 28 2014 California Drought Could Effect Food Prices

LOS ANGELES - Southern California, where many fruits and vegetables for the country are grown, is experiencing a recording-breaking drought, which could impact world food prices in 2014.
‘Not looking good’
Andy Domenigoni is a fourth generation grower in Riverside, California. He says there are good years and bad years, and this year things are not looking […]


Dec 12 2013 China Blocks Entry Of US Genetically Modified Corn

BEIJING - China has blocked the entry of another U.S. corn cargo, and three more may be turned away, after tests found a strain of unapproved genetically-modified [GMO] corn.
Some believe the rejection may have been prompted by other trade disputes between the two countries.
The latest cargo of 59,100 tons was denied entry on Tuesday after […]


Aug 12 2013 Honeybee Deaths Tied To Chemical Contamination By Fungicides

WASHINGTON - A widely used chemical used to fight plant disease is hurting honeybees in an unexpected way, according to new research. As Megan McGrath reports, it may be contributing to the widespread loss of honeybees that pollinate many fruits, vegetables, nuts and other crops.
 Honeybee hives in the United States and elsewhere are dying, and […]


Jul 28 2013 US To Strenghten Food Import Regulations

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed new rules aimed at making imported food safer. The FDA says the rules will hold importers accountable for observing the same safety standards as domestic producers.
 The United States imports about 15 percent of its food from 150 countries, according to the FDA.
 The agency currently […]


Jul 12 2013 US House Passes Farm Bill

WASHINGTON - A $5 billion-per-year subsidy program for U.S. farmers is a step closer to ending. The House of Representatives has passed its version of the Farm Bill - 5-year, $100 billion legislation directing U.S. agriculture policy.
 It cuts a subsidy called direct payments, which farmers received regardless of need and even went to people who […]


Jun 4 2013 USDA, EPA Campaigns To End Food Waste

WASHINGTON - The United States wastes billions of kilograms of food each year, and the Department of Agriculture wants that to change.
 Throwing away food is not only wasteful, the agency says, it is bad for the environment.
 On Tuesday, the USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency introduced a new campaign to reduce food waste.
 Agriculture Secretary Tom […]


May 3 2013 US Releases Report On Honeybee Deaths

WASHINGTON - This is the time of year when farmers in the northern hemisphere count on bees and other insects to pollinate orchards, vegetables and berry fields. But what has the beekeeping world abuzz this season is the continuing phenomenon of mass honeybee deaths — and how governments on two continents are responding to them.
 U.S. […]


Feb 24 2013 US Officials Forecast Lower Crop Prices

WASHINGTON - Prices of corn, soybeans and wheat are likely to decline this year, according to the latest forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
 Although farmers are going into this season with the ground still extremely dry after last year’s record-breaking drought, the USDA still expects good yields this year.
 Weather, like the winter storm which […]


Jan 5 2013 US Food Safety Modernization Act Takes Effect

WASHINGTON - New rules hailed as the biggest improvements in U.S. food safety since the 1930s took a step forward Friday. Regulators say the proposals may prevent more than one million cases of foodborne illness each year.
 They come two years to the day since President Barack Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act. They are […]


Jan 1 2013 Fiscal Agreement Includes Farm Bill Fix

WASHINGTON - For many Americans, New Year’s Eve focused on the U.S. Congress going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” of massive tax hikes and spending cuts.  But congressional gridlock has produced another precipice, this one in the dairy aisles of U.S. grocery stores.
 Beginning in the Great Depression of the 1930s, Congress wrote legislation intended to […]


Dec 5 2012 Fast Food Chains Fight Against EPA Biofuel Policy

WASHINGTON - Big American fast-food chains have entered the fight against an alternative fuel policy that critics say is pushing up the price of food worldwide.
In a new lobbying effort, they are calling on Congress to repeal a law that requires gasoline to contain ethanol, a fuel produced mainly from corn.
Corn competition
When you drive up […]


Jun 23 2012 US Senate Approves Farm Bill

WASHINGTON - A bill extending and reforming U.S. agricultural programs cleared a key legislative hurdle on Thursday as the Senate approved a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill by a vote of 64 to 35.
The Senate appeared to cast aside partisan politics to pass bill, which will help low-income Americans buy food and compensate U.S. farmers for […]


Apr 25 2012 USDA Confirms Case Of Mad Cow Disease In California

WASHINGTON - Two South Korean retailers have discontinued selling U.S.-imported beef after a new case of mad cow disease was discovered in the United States.
John Clifford, the chief veterinary officer for the U.S. Agriculture Department, announced the discovery Tuesday.
“The animal was a dairy cow from the state of California,” said Clifford.  “Our laboratory confirmed the […]


Apr 12 2012 FDA Seeks To End Livestock Antibiotic Abuse

WASHINGTON - U.S. regulators are taking steps to check the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections from animals to humans.  The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is giving farmers three years to end their practice of using antibiotics solely to help animals grow.  The European Union already has banned this use of antibiotics, but it is […]


Oct 29 2011 US Beef Prices Rise Due To Severe Drought

AMARILLO - Beef prices may be headed upward due to a severe, lingering drought in the southern United States which is putting a major financial squeeze on the region’s cattle producers.
Across Texas cattle country, livestock auctions have been unusually busy. As grazing lands dried up, cattlemen have been selling their livestock earlier in the season […]


Aug 18 2011 Texas Drought Will Effect Consumers

HOUSTON - A report issued Wednesday by the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, an agency of the southwestern state, indicates that this year’s drought in Texas is among the worst on record and that agricultural production has fallen because of it. That is bad news for consumers around the world.
More than 90 percent of the state […]


May 19 2011 Mississippi Flooding Destroys Crops

HOUSTON - Flooding along the Mississippi River has ruined crops, damaged farmland and delayed barge traffic in parts of the southern United States.  Officials say diversion of some of the water through spillways in Louisiana, though, eventually will ease the flow and help speed the return to normalcy. Closings of some sections of the river […]


Apr 10 2011 USDA Imposes Strict Regulations On Food

WASHINGTON - More steps are being taken to improve U.S. food safety.  The Agriculture Department unveiled new regulations April 5 that would force meat and poultry companies to delay shipments to consumers until government inspectors get results of products they have tested for E-coli bacteria and other contaminants. 
The move is an effort by the government […]


Apr 2 2011 Food Prices On The Rise

WASHINGTON - New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that domestic food prices are likely to remain high in the coming months and could go higher.
With the UN food agency’s price index at its highest level since records were first kept in 1990, experts are eager for information on what farmers will produce […]


Feb 16 2011 Food Prices Skyrocket As Millions Suffer Poverty

WASHINGTON - The head of the World Bank says a sharp rise in food prices has pushed 44 million people into extreme poverty. World Bank President Robert Zoellick is calling on the Group of 20 leading and emerging economies to put food first on its agenda.
The World Bank’s latest food price index is just three […]


Feb 12 2011 Farming Is The Answer To Address Nutritional Needs

NEW DELHI - More than 900 farm, health and nutrition experts from over 60 countries have gathered in the Indian capital, New Delhi, to discuss how agriculture can help meet the needs of the world’s poor people.  The experts are calling on nations to incorporate health and nutrition as a goal in farming.
Nearly one billion […]


Apr 29 2010 US Subsidizes Brazillian Cotton Farmers

WASHINGTON - American taxpayers may soon be subsidizing Brazilian cotton farmers in order to protect the earnings of U.S. drug companies. That’s one way to look at a new agreement aimed at ending a long-running dispute within the World Trade Organization between Brazil and the United States.
It’s the first time the U.S. has been penalized […]


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