For some tobacco farmers, the future may be in cannabis. Altria Group Inc., the U.S. maker of Marlboro cigarettes, made a $1.8 billion investment in Cronos Group Inc. on Friday, Dec. 8, amid pressure to find new growth avenues as U.S. smoking rates decline.
China may be girding itself to buy more U.S. gas and soybeans amid easing trade tensions, but the sums just don't add up right now. American supplies would be uncompetitive or unneeded when shipped to China, based on current prices, shipping costs and other variables. So any resumption in purchases by the world's biggest gas importer and America's top soy buyer is unlikely to be for economic reasons and may be a political gesture by Beijing to smooth relations with Washington.
A growing number of honey bees die each year due to pesticides, vanishing habitats, poor nutrition and climate change, with potentially disastrous consequences for agriculture and natural diversity. Now, scientists at the University of Helsinki have developed the first edible vaccine against microbial infections, hoping to save at least some of the pollinators.
Congress is expected to vote this week on a new farm bill, which includes changes to the food stamp program. Lawmakers should take the time to read up on recent research about the program's effects. Innovative research has demonstrated convincingly that young children whose families receive food stamps benefit later in life.
It was mid-summer, less than three months before Canada legalized recreational marijuana, and Vic Neufeld had a problem. The chief executive officer of Aphria Inc. had just hired 50 people to work in the pot producer's greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario and by the end of the first week all but eight had quit. "Those are really hot, humid months and working in a greenhouse, as much cooling and airflow as we can provide, is still pretty darn hot in July and August," Neufeld said in a phone interview.
It's not all bad news in the sluggish U.S. beer market. Sure, consumers are drinking less brew, increasingly swapping out mainstream brands like Coors Light and Bud Light for wine, bourbon, tequila or hard seltzer. Even the craft beer craze has slowed. But while many drinkers shift away from lager and ale, two brands are bucking the trend: Michelob Ultra and Modelo Especial.
Everyone's favorite apple is leaving Northeastern orchards out on a limb.
Caught smack in the middle of the U.S.-China trade war, America's soybean farmers are taking a huge gamble. Rather than selling the crop right away as they pull it out of the ground -- as they do almost every harvest season to pay the bills -- they are instead stashing it in silos, containers, bins, bags, whatever they can get their hands on to keep it safe and dry.
President Donald Trump's America First rhetoric is doing no favors for U.S. ethanol producers, who are hoping to avoid a trade fight with fuel buyers in Brazil. The administration has started making noise about rising imports of Brazilian biofuel made from sugar. That's got the South American producer mulling tariffs or a quota on imports of U.S. fuel made from corn. A trade spat would be a much bigger problem up north because the U.S. ships more than four times as much to Brazil than it buys from the country.
In the heart of Canada's bread basket, a Richardson International Ltd. processing plant stands as a testament to what may be the country's most successful agricultural experiment.