GARNER, Iowa/MEXICO CITY - Farmers in the heartland that helped elect Donald Trump are now pushing his administration to avoid a trade dispute with Mexico, fearing retaliatory tariffs that could hit over $3 billion in U.S. exports. The value of exports at risk is based on a Reuters analysis of a tariff list which Mexico used in a trucking dispute six years ago and which Mexican officials have said could serve as a model if President Trump sets new barriers to Mexican goods.
CHICAGO - President Donald Trump has proposed halting funding for rural clean water initiatives and reducing county-level staff, for a 21 percent drop in discretionary spending at the Department of Agriculture, according to a White House budget document. The $4.7 billion in cuts would leave USDA with a budget of $17.9 billion after cutting some statistical and rural business services and encouraging private sector conservation planning. Farm groups warned that farmers and rural communities could suffer.
NEW YORK -- While crossing a small wooden bridge in northwestern Iowa last Thursday, March 9, 20 rail tank cars in a mile-long train transporting ethanol flew off the tracks, sending fireballs into the sky, while thousands of gallons of the biofuel leaked into the creek below. No one was injured, in part because the accident occurred in a sparsely populated area. A similar derailment in the more dense Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada, in 2013 killed 47 people after a train carrying crude oil crashed and exploded.
A South Dakota state judge has ordered ABC Broadcasting to face a potential $5.7 billion defamation lawsuit claiming it damaged Beef Products Inc by referring in a series of reports to a meat product it sold as "pink slime." Judge Cheryle Gering of the Union County Circuit Court in Elk Point, South Dakota, dismissed claims against anchor Diane Sawyer, but said ABC, a unit of Walt Disney Co, and reporter Jim Avila must defend against such claims.
WASHINGTON -- The United States and Mexico will launch a new round of negotiations to resolve a years-long trade dispute over Mexico's sugar exports to the United States, senior officials in both governments said on Friday, March 10. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said the talks would be aimed at resuming imports of Mexican sugar to the United States after they had been halted earlier this week as Mexico reached a temporary limit on sugar exports to its northern neighbor.
NEW YORK -- More than two dozen tank cars hauling ethanol derailed Friday morning, March 10, in northwestern Iowa, causing some to catch fire and sending an unknown volume of the biofuel into a nearby creek, according to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. There were no reported injuries, according to the NTSB, which is sending a 15-member team to Iowa to investigate the incident. The derailment occurred around 1 a.m., on a Union Pacific Corp rail line near Graettinger and along Jake Creek, about 160 miles northwest of Des Moines, the NTSB said in a press release.
DAKAR -- Tiger worm toilets which turn human waste into fertilizer could prove to be an affordable and sustainable sanitation solution for increasingly crowded slums and refugee camps across the developing world, water and sanitation experts say. The earthworm-filled toilets take up less space than pit latrines, need to be emptied far less frequently, present less of a health risk, and can provide communities with rich compost for growing crops, according to sanitation specialists.
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday, March 7, revoked a rule that aimed to give the public more input into federal land management decisions, the latest move by the Republican-led Congress to undo Obama administration environmental regulations it sees as a burden. The Senate voted 51-48 to approve a resolution to repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s Resource Management Planning rule, known as BLM 2.0, finalized in December by the Obama administration.
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico has canceled existing sugar export permits to the United States in a dispute over the pace of shipments, according to a letter seen by Reuters, in a flare-up industry sources said could temporarily disrupt supplies. The letter sent by Mexico's sugar chamber to mills on Monday, March 6, partly blamed the situation on unfilled positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce, which it said had led to a "legalistic" interpretation of rules with no U.S. counterparts in place in Washington for Mexican officials to negotiate with.
PARIS - - The United States reported an outbreak of avian flu on a farm in Wisconsin, the second in the country in less than a week although the virus found this time is considered less virulent, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Tuesday.A strain of low pathogenic H5N2 avian flu has been discovered in a flock of 84,000 turkeys in Barron County, Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report posted on the website of the Paris-based OIE.