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Agriculture News

News about food, farming, business, politics and policy that impacts central Illinois farmers.

LARGEST PORK PRODUCER LOOKING BEYOND ‘SAME OLD BACON’

Simply selling bacon and ham isn’t enough to drive growth for the world’s largest pork producer. Smithfield Foods Inc. is shaking things upj and refocusing business to meet the needs of an ever-more demanding consumer. The shake-up will help the $15 billion company focus on higher margin consumer packaged foods as commodity markets remain volatile…. read more

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U.S. CRUDE GAINS, SLOWING GLOBAL ECONOMY CHALLENGE OIL MARKET IN 2019

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Friday U.S. oil production growth combined with a slowing global economy will put oil prices under downward pressure in 2019, challenging OPEC’s resolve to support the market. “The U.S., already the biggest liquids supplier, will reinforce its leadership as the world’s number one crude producer,” IEA said in its… read more

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RURAL BANKERS IN 10 STATES WORRY OVER FARM LOAN DEFAULTS

A monthly survey of rural bankers in parts of 10 plains and western states suggests banks are growing increasingly concerned about farm loan defaults in 2019. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the outlook is negatively influenced by tariffs, trade tensions, weak commodity prices and the partial federal government shutdown. (Des Moines Register)

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U.S. DEBATES LIFTING CHINA TARIFFS TO HASTEN TRADE DEAL, CALM MARKETS

U.S. officials are debating ratcheting back tariffs on Chinese imports as a way to calm markets and give Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions in a trade battle that has rattled global economies. The U.S. and China seek to resolve their dispute ahead of a March 1 deadline, when at 12:01 a.m. the next… read more

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OVERHAULED FARM WORKER PROGRAM UNLIKELY FOR 2019 –

OVERHAULED FARM WORKER PROGRAM UNLIKELY FOR 2019 – While the H-2A visa program has experienced massive growth during the past decade, with the number of visas issued to temporary workers rising 500 percent, the demand is still surpassing the supply AFBF members learned during their annual convention this week. Efforts to overhaul the current system… read more

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TRUMP’S TARIFFS ARE PRODUCING BILLIONS, BUT CHINA, OTHER COUNTRIES AREN’T PAYING –

TRUMP’S TARIFFS ARE PRODUCING BILLIONS, BUT CHINA, OTHER COUNTRIES AREN’T PAYING – President Donald Trump says his tariffs are generating billions of dollars for the U.S., but China and other countries aren’t paying them as he’s suggested. According to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than $13 billion in duties imposed by… read more

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WHEELER PUSHING TO GET E15 RULE DONE BY SUMMER –

WHEELER PUSHING TO GET E15 RULE DONE BY SUMMER – EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler plans to issue a rule allowing year-round use of E15 by the summer driving season provided the government shutdown ends in a “reasonable” length of time. Other members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, including Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.,… read more

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SOME FARM SERVICE AGENCY OFFICES TO TEMPORARILY OPEN –

SOME FARM SERVICE AGENCY OFFICES TO TEMPORARILY OPEN – About half the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily during the government shutdown, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday. Some FSA offices will be open Jan. 17, Jan. 18 and Jan. 22 to perform limited services for farmers and ranchers…. read more

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GOV. PRITZKER FOCUSES ON BUDGET, STATE NEEDS –

GOV. PRITZKER FOCUSES ON BUDGET, STATE NEEDS – Gov. J.B. Pritzker challenged state government to address Illinois’ needs from the fiscal to the physical in his inaugural address Monday. He acknowledged this won’t be easy and will require hard choices because the state’s obligations outmatch its resources. He also said the state must improve its… read more

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QUINOA WHISKEY? –

QUINOA WHISKEY? – A modified crop list could spur distilleries to try alternative grains. By definition, whiskey is a grain spirit. And until now, that “grain” has been limited by federal law to four specific crops: corn, wheat, rye and barley. In December, the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau took a… read more

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