Dutch Seed Breeder Wins “Nobel of Agriculture” – June 11, 2019

Dutch seed breeder wins the ‘Nobel of agriculture’

Sixth-generation seedsman Simon Groot is the 2019 winner of the $250,000 World Food Prize, sometimes called the Nobel of agriculture, officials announced on Monday.

Enviva, a giant in wood pellets, shifts tree-sourcing policy

Enviva, the largest industrial wood-pellet manufacturer in the world, said it launched an “enhanced and expanded global sourcing policy” last week in partnership with Earthworm Foundation, a non-profit that helps businesses reform their supply chains. The announcement came a few weeks after the publication of a report by FERN, in collaboration with The Weather Channel, spotlighting the company’s environmental practices.

With millions of acres unplanted, U.S. corn crop could be smallest in six years

The United States could be headed for its smallest corn crop – 13 billion bushels – since the scorching 2012 drought, according to estimates circulated ahead of USDA projections due Tuesday at noon ET.

Maybe a ‘minimal’ Trump payment on prevented plantings, Perdue says

The USDA will not make Trump tariff payments on farmland that is not planted this year, because it’s not allowed by law to do so, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday.


Chinese imports down (Wall Street Journal): Chinese imports fell 8.5 percent in May from a year earlier, in part due to the country’s trade dispute with the U.S.

Heavy rains stall river transport (New York Times): Across many of the country’s rivers, water levels have risen so high after heavy rains that barges cannot navigate their shipments of grains, fertilizer, and construction supplies downriver.

Very large dead zone forecast (NOAA): Abnormally high spring rainfall in the Mississippi River watershed means “much larger nutrient loading” to the Gulf of Mexico and a dead zone of 7,800 square miles, roughly the size of Massachusetts and much larger than the five-year average.

NIFA votes on unionization (FERN’s Ag Insider): In a reaction to USDA plans to move their agency out of the Washington area, employees of the grant-making National Institute of Food and Agriculture are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to join a union for government workers.

Myers isn’t fit for NOAA, scientists say (Union of Concerned Scientists):  Two scientists are calling on the Senate to reject Barry Myers’ nomination to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration because during his tenure at AccuWeather, women employees reported rampant sexual harassment at the company.

Packing plant a boon for rural jobs (AP): With Prestage Foods ramping up employment at its new pork packing plant in northern Iowa, analysts say the processor will create an economic boomlet in a region with a longstanding decline in population.

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