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Stories by Philip Brasher:

Biotech Seed Giant Sued Over Lost China Sales

Sept. 23, 2014

Cargill Inc. filed suit Friday against Syngenta Seeds Inc. over a genetically engineered variety of corn that led China to largely  shut down imports of U.S. grain. Cargill alleges in the lawsuit that it has lost more than $90 million because of the disruption. Syngenta commercialized the insect-resistant variety, known as Agrisure Viptera, despite warnings that it could disrupt trade if it wasn’t first approved by China, according to the lawsuit filed in a Louisiana state…

Agricultural Runoff Issues Will Contribute to Future of America's Water Quality Regulations

Sept. 12, 2014

The Lake Erie algae bloom that forced Toledo officials to issue a do-not-drink advisory for local water in August highlighted the impact that agriculture can have on water quality.

Administration and Farmers Clash Over More Precise Clean Water Act Regulations

Sept. 12, 2014

The Obama administration has found itself in a public brawl with farmers over a proposed rule that would more precisely define what land the Clean Water Act regulates.

The Other Side of the Border

July 15, 2014

A barefoot 16-year-old boy fidgets as he recounts how he and two fellow Honduran companions tried to sneak into the United States but instead landed in a Guatemalan shelter for migrants and refugees.

Nebraska Sets the Standard for New Farmers

March 21, 2014

Nebraska’s success in recruiting new farmers and ranchers could point the way for other states and Congress to reverse the decline in the number of new producers.

USDA Struggles to Spark Youth Interest in Farming

March 21, 2014

Farmers’ markets have spread across the country, and supermarkets and even chain restaurants are vying to lure customers with locally grown foods.

As Data Meets Farm Fields, Concerns Begin to Grow

Jan. 24, 2014

Farmers no longer just have to worry about whether it will rain too much or too little, or whether prices for their crops will be high enough to cover their costs. Now, growers increasingly are on edge about big data.

Farm Groups Sue to Stop Data Disclosure

Jan. 24, 2014

Even as they raise concerns about corporate use of farm data, farm groups are turning to Congress to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing information that it compiles on agricultural operations it regulates.

Cutting Back on Food Waste Could Have Economic, Environmental Benefits

Nov. 1, 2013

Clean your plate. It could save the planet.

U.N. Food Waste Stats Show Environmental Impact

Nov. 1, 2013

The scale of the global food waste problem is almost as hard to grasp is it is to address.

Debate Over GMO Labels Rolls On

Sept. 27, 2013

Two decades after Robert T. Fraley pioneered Monsanto’s first genetically engineered crops, the public debate about the technology still rages.

Safety of New Pesticide Technology Is Under Review

Sept. 27, 2013

Scientists have found a way to use a trick of nature to increase crop yields, combat hard-to-kill pests, grow coffee beans with no caffeine and even save the honeybee.

Shutdown or Not, Farm Bill Extension Expires on Oct. 1

Sept. 25, 2013

One thing’s certain on Oct. 1: Congress will have allowed the nine-month extension of the 2008 farm bill to expire.

GMO Soybeans Are Speed Bump in EU Trade Deal

July 26, 2013

Scientists started working back in the 1990s to genetically engineer a soybean that’s oil would be free of artery-clogging trans fats, a product farmers think will appeal to consumers as well as food-makers and fast-food chains.

House to Consider 100-Plus Farm Bill Amendments; Passage May Slip to Next Week

June 19, 2013

The House launched into debate of more than 100 amendments to the farm bill Wednesday, but there were signs that final passage might be delayed until next week.

Changes to Farm Safety Net Programs Raise Concerns

June 7, 2013

Farmers know they’ll lose $5 billion in annual direct payments when a new farm bill passes. But up until now, few growers have complained about that prospect, because they know they can still count on buying federally subsidized crop insurance.

Heartburn Over Tracking Foods

April 12, 2013

Food exemptions aren’t just an issue with the proposed produce standards. The question has now come up as to whether all food producers should conduct record keeping that could make it easier for investigators to track products from farm to fork.

New Agriculture Rules Generate Anger, Confusion

April 12, 2013

FOWLER, Calif. — The oranges floating through the chlorine solution in the Bee Sweet Citrus Inc. packing plant will soon be packed in boxes stamped with name brands such as Dole and then shipped off to supermarkets across the country or to destinations in Japan, South Korea and other foreign points.

Economist Critiques 'Obamacare for the Corn'

March 1, 2013

Not many agricultural economists get asked to be on a TV comedy show, and not many would probably dare go on, if asked. But Iowa State University’s Bruce Babcock, one of the crop insurance system’s most prominent critics, showed up on “The Colbert Report” last year in the middle of the drought that devastated the Midwest corn crop.

Farmers, Others Worried About Crop Insurance Status

March 1, 2013

When Congress overhauled the federal crop insurance system 13 years ago, lawmakers hoped it would reduce the need for rescuing farmers through multibillion-dollar bailouts.

Pork Producers Phase Out Use Of Sow Stalls

Dec. 6, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States is almost single-handedly changing the way farmers feed America’s appetite for bacon, ribs, holiday hams and other pork products.

Pacelle: Projecting a Moderate Face on Animal Rights

Dec. 6, 2012

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, recently took a break from his long-running battles with livestock producers to set up a new branch of the Humane Society in India, an occasion that included the presence of the Dalai Lama.

Lucas Suggests Path Forward For Farm Bill

Nov. 30, 2012

A deal to avert the fiscal cliff could pave the way for the new Congress to pass a farm bill next year, House Agriculture Chairman Frank D. Lucas says.




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