WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO - President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry and its largely immigrant workforce, according to farmers and officials who met with him. At a roundtable on farm labor at the White House last month, Trump said he did not want to create labor problems for farmers and would look into improving a program that brings in temporary agricultural workers on legal visas.
The Mexican and U.S. governments have agreed to extend the deadline for negotiations over a sugar trade agreement to June 5, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying late Monday, May 1, that the talks were "at an impasse." In a statement, Ross said the Commerce Department notified Mexico's government that the United States intended to resume collection of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on sugar imports starting June 5 unless an agreement is reached.
WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers launched the next round in their fight against federal regulation on Wednesday, helped by at least one Democrat, as the U.S. Senate began work on legislation to change nearly every step agencies take in creating and applying new rules. Republicans have said they deem lightening federal regulation, which they consider costly and burdensome, as much a priority as overhauling healthcare and rewriting the tax code.
CHICAGO - Cargill Inc said on Wednesday it will exit the business of feeding cattle to direct capital toward other investments, the latest transformation for the global commodity trader. Minnesota-based Cargill struck a deal to sell its last two feed yards to ethanol producer Green Plains Inc for $36.7 million, after selling other feedyards to Friona Industries last year, according to the companies.
Neligh, NEBRASKA - When President Donald Trump handed TransCanada Pipeline Co. a permit for its Keystone XL pipeline last month, he said the company could now build the long-delayed and divisive project "with efficiency and with speed." But Trump and the firm will have to get through Nebraska farmer Art Tanderup first, along with about 90 other landowners in the path of the pipeline. They are mostly farmers and ranchers, making a last stand against the pipeline - the fate of which now rests with an obscure state regulatory board, the Nebraska Public Service Commission.
CHICAGO - Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has established a separate bioscience unit to expand its role in supplying pig parts for medical uses, with the ultimate goal of selling pig organs for transplantation into humans. Routine pig-human organ transplants are years away, but recent scientific advances are breaking down barriers that frustrated prior attempts to use pigs as a ready supply of replacement parts for sick or injured people, making it an attractive new market.
Reluctant to sell his harvest at today's rock-bottom prices, he has stuffed storage bins at his property full and left more corn piled on the ground, covered with a tarp. He would rather risk potential crop damage from the elements than pay the exorbitant cost of storage elsewhere. "That's how poor people do it," said Fox, who has been farming for 28 years. "You do what you have to do."
CHICAGO - Minnesota's agriculture department said on Thursday that one company, Green Valley Seed, sold the seed planted on all the land in a U.S. conservation program in Minnesota that is infested with Palmer amaranth, an invasive weed threatening cropland. The federal Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers to remove land from production to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and protect endangered species. It has also triggered the spread of the fast-growing weed in the U.S. Midwest.
WINTERSET, IOWA - A U.S. government program designed to convert farmland to wildlife habitat has triggered the spread of a fast-growing weed that threatens to strangle crops in America's rural heartland. The weed is hard to kill and, if left unchecked, destroys as much as 91 percent of corn on infested land, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is spreading across Iowa, which accounts for nearly a fifth of U.S. corn production and in 2016 exported more than $1 billion of corn and soy.
Fast food giant McDonald's Corp said on Thursday it would make its popular "Quarter Pounder" hamburgers with fresh beef, prepared when ordered, by mid-2018 in most of its U.S. restaurants. Investors and analysts say the move could bolster sales but that it would also require restaurant operators to make changes to cooking routines that could slow service. McDonald's U.S. restaurants have suffered four straight years of traffic declines, resulting in 500 million lost transactions since 2012.