David's Stories

In the wake of the rejection by United States District Judge Vincent Chhabria of Bayer’s proposed $2 billion settlement of claims against its signature product Roundup, Bayer announced several steps it will take to mitigate future risk. While the company hinted it may pull glyphosate as a Ro…

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The regenerative ranching movement got a huge boost when the Noble Research Institute announced in February that it will “focus all of its operations on regenerative agriculture and set its primary goal to regenerate millions of acres of degraded grazing lands across the United States.”

The announcement was the culmination of a series of internal discussions the Ardmore, Oklahoma-based organization has been having for several years. The decision means the organization will be winding down the plant science and plant breeding side of its research activities.

A study of ag transportation released in December by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that 80% of United States ag freight moves on only 17 transportation corridors that make up 17% of the U.S. highway network. The study, titled “Importance of Highways to U.S. Agriculture,” was un…

Is the end in sight for the agricultural insecticide chlorpyrifos? On April 29, 2021, a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the Environmental Protection Agency within 60 days to either ban chlorpyrifos completely, or to fix safe tolerances for it in food residues.

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Even in a year in which Russia, Australia and Canada all produced record wheat crops, United States wheat export levels to China were up by 2.7 million metric tons above last year’s totals. With continued tight supplies of corn and soybeans and strong demand from China forecast to continue, …

A group of more than 300 agricultural groups sent a letter April 27 to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg demanding immediate action on a shortage of containers for exporting ag products that is worsening, as a growing United States hunger for imports accelerates an imbalance between…

A bill that, if passed, would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture authority to lay the groundwork and set standards for a “carbon farming” market was introduced in Congress April 20. The U.S. Senate Ag Committee planned to take up the Growing Climate Solutions Act April 22 during a commi…

A bill that, if passed, would give the U.S. Department of Agriculture authority to lay the groundwork and set standards for a “carbon farming” market was introduced in Congress April 20. The U.S. Senate Ag Committee planned to take up the Growing Climate Solutions Act April 22 during a commi…

“I can’t remember a time when there were as many variables involved [with the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates] as today,” remarked Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export council, at the beginning of a webinar discussing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s newly released A…

A letter of concern signed by a broad coalition of more than 40 agricultural groups, ports and other river stakeholders along the Columbia/Snake river system is opposing a plan to breach four Snake River dams to protect spawning salmon. The plan was proposed by Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho.

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The designation by the Army Corps of Engineers of a multi-port area in the Quad Cities/Peoria/Quincy area of Illinois and Iowa has been supported by city officials, the regional economic development organization and terminal owners.

A decision rendered March 11 by the U.S. International Trade Commission to slap an additional duty on phosphate fertilizer imported from Morocco and Russia will raise fertilizer costs for United States farmers an estimated $1.5 billion, according to a former American Farm Bureau economist.

It should be the best of times for agricultural exporters. Prices for soybeans, corn and wheat are at record highs. Expert after expert has testified that the signs point to a continued increase in the burgeoning world demand for U.S. ag products. Markets have grown in many regions of the wo…

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How long can the era of high demand for soybeans (and corn) and corresponding high prices last? During a recent webinar, Jim Sutter, CEO of the United States Soybean Export Council, wondered aloud whether the soybean market and commodities markets in general are entering into a “demand supercycle” like the one a few years ago that fueled a worldwide boom in commodity prices.

As Sutter pointed out during another webinar on the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released March 10, a couple of years ago at this time, farmers were looking at a carryout of a billion bushels of soybeans. Today it’s a tenth of that.

When buying crop insurance this season, corn and soybean farmers are likely to face "sticker shock" at how much premiums will rise, according to Jim Mintert, director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. In the 2020 season, net returns to land equaled or exceeded returns…

“I know you won’t read this in the mainstream media, but I believe that the moderate wing of the Democratic Party has found its voice and is in control”—at least, on issues of importance to cattle producers.

China’s demand for imported corn is about more than just the rebuilding of its swine herd from the devastation of African swine fever. It’s also about a strengthening Chinese currency (which makes United States corn and other ag exports cheaper), an increasing concern for soil health within …

An imbalance in the supply of empty containers for ag exporters to use has worsened to the point where a federal investigation into the trade effects of COVID-19 has expanded into an inquiry into whether or not some ocean carriers might be skirting federal law by refusing contracted ag shipments.

On Feb. 3, Bayer announced a proposed agreement with class plaintiffs’ counsels on a $2 billion settlement fund to resolve outstanding claims that exposure to Roundup, one of Bayer’s signature products that has been mired in litigation, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The company is hoping it…

Some climate change activists want the incoming secretary of agriculture to draw from the $30 billion in the Commodity Credit Corporation, set up to support farm prices, to be used to fund carbon farming.

On Dec. 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of a first-of-its-kind intentional genomic alteration in a line of domestic pigs. The altered pigs are referred to as GalSafe pigs. Their cell surfaces are altered to remove alpha-gal, a galactose sugar present in most …

A top executive for Cargill, one of the world’s leading ag companies, promised soybean farmers “an exciting 2021” because of rising demand combined with supply constraints, resulting in higher prices. Joe Stone, an agribusiness veteran and head of Cargill’s agricultural supply chain and corp…

Even as Bayer moved to settle thousands of outstanding claims of dicamba damage to soybeans between 2015 and 2020, four nonprofit groups filed a new lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency Dec. 21 in the District Court of Arizona challenging the EPA’s Oct. 27 recertification and …

The incoming administration of President Joe Biden has announced it will nominate Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was a presidential candidate in the Democratic presidential primary. If confirmed, he would replace Elaine Cha…

Big Chicken’s past continues to come home to roost. Chick-Fil-A added its name to a growing list of major customers suing chicken processors for price-fixing. In a civil lawsuit filed Dec. 4 in U.S. District Court in Chicago, Illinois, and first reported by the New York Times, Chick-Fil-A ac…

In the Dec. 10 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, the U.S. Department of Agriculture upwardly revised price estimates for both corn and soybeans and lowered estimates for U.S. production and ending stocks.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, you should have been able to easily get a turkey for Thanksgiving this year. And you probably did not pay any more for it than usual. It might not have been the exact size or weight you wanted, though.

Will the protein of the next breakout faux-burger or seafood filet sandwich be grown from mushrooms or fish cells? Either of those possibilities became slightly more likely after two innovative food tech companies were the winner and runner-up, respectively, of the Radicle Protein Challenge,…

Bayer hosted a webinar Oct. 29 “Future of Farming Dialogue 2020-Carbon Sequestration” to explain a carbon farming initiative it has developed. Using agricultural practices, whether old or new, to pull carbon from the air and store it has become a hot topic among green ag futurists. The lure …

A global association of bulk terminal operators says China is buying up every kind of commodity at a “mind-blowing” rate, with the country’s imports propping up an otherwise overall fall in trade volumes globally due to the COVID-19 virus. While this global vacuuming up of commodities by Chi…

Bayer’s failure to resolve ongoing lawsuits over Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, now totaling 3,787, combined with coronavirus-driven demand reduction and a devaluation of the Brazilian real, caused the ag giant to declare a loss of $3 billion in the third quarter of 2020. Bayer has massive op…

TeleSense, whose website proclaims it “the future of post-harvest grain management,” says it is poised to revolutionize grain storage and secure the food supply chain. Based in Sunnyvale, California, TeleSense lists almost all the international grain trading “majors” as its clients.

In the third week of October, the Trump administration announced the second round of grants and loans from the ReConnect rural broadband program. The program is designed to provide broadband services to unserved and underserved rural areas where it is not profitable for commercial providers …

The Corps of Engineers Navigation and Civil Works Decision Support Center, in coordination with the Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center issued their approval Oct. 9 for the creation of three Port Statistical Areas in the heart of the Corn Belt: the Illinois Waterway Ports and Terminals PSA…

A federal grand jury in Colorado made public the indictments of six more current and former officials of chicken-processing firms for price-fixing on Oct. 8, bringing the total number of industry officials to 10 that have been charged with price fixing since June.

Despite widely advertised tensions, progress is happening in agricultural trade relations between the United States and China. U.S. beef exports to China are expected to increase by 100% from last year, and pork exports by 80%. That was the message of agriculture export officials in a Sept. …

On Sept. 9, ground was broken for a new $11 million barge loading and unloading terminal along the Missouri River at Mile 680.5 near Blencoe, Iowa, between Council Bluffs and Sioux City. According to the Sioux City Journal, wet weather moved the ceremony from the site of the new port to a ne…