At the White House, Chinese official says his country will buy more U.S. soybeans
In a letter read aloud at the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing will buy more U.S. farm exports, a decision that President Trump hailed on Thursday as a sign of good faith in ongoing negotiations to end the trade war between the nations.
More and more, industry calls the shots on ag research
Legislators and governors have scaled back funding for state universities in recent years, and one result is that industry funding has become more important, says the New Food Economy. “And with industry money comes industry priorities.”
TODAY’S QUICK HITS
‘Fake meat’ is beef group’s top concern (NCBA): The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, an industry lobby, has released its 2019 policy priorities, and the labeling of plant-based meat substitutes tops the group’s list.
Investors pressure fast food on climate (Impact Alpha): More than 80 investors, representing $6.5 trillion in assets, sent letters to Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International (owners of Burger King), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Wendy’s Co., and Yum! Brands setting a March deadline for the companies to come up with plans for managing climate risks in their supply chains.
Drought threatens Navajo flocks (Los Angeles Times): A brutal drought in the U.S. Southwest is hitting the Navajo Nation especially hard and threatening a pastoral way of life; over the centuries, sheep have provided meat, milk, and wool to Navajos, who are taught that “sheep is life.”
Relief checks are in the mail (NCDACS): State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says two batches of hurricane relief checks, drawn from a $240-million agricultural disaster fund, are being mailed this week to North Carolina growers, who lost an estimated $1.2 billion in crops and livestock last fall to Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael.
Bigger seeds, more food? (Farms.com): Scientists at the University of Texas have found a way, using a technique called RNA silencing, to get some plants to produce seeds that are up to 30 percent larger than usual, a discovery that could have implications for crops including canola and soybeans.
Slow pay raise for Garden State farmworkers (Press of Atlantic City): Although legislators voted to make New Jersey the fourth state with a minimum wage of $15 an hour, to be phased in over the next five years, pay for farmworkers will peak at just $12.50 in 2024, at which time a review will decide whether to proceed further.
Court nixes health warnings on soda ads (AP): The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a San Francisco law requiring health warnings on advertisements for soda and other sugary drinks violates the free-speech rights of beverage makers and retailers.
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