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BASF to buy Bayer’s seed, herbicide businesses for $7 billion

FRANKFURT, Oct 13 (Reuters) - BASF has agreed to buy seed and herbicide businesses from Bayer for 5.9 billion euros (US$7 billion) in cash, as Bayer tries to convince competition authorities to approve its planned acquisition of Monsanto. BASF, the world's third-largest maker of crop chemicals, has so far avoided seed assets and instead pursued[...]

The problems of plenty

CARMAN, Man. (Reuters) — Prairie summers are generally considered too short to grow a decent corn crop on a major scale. But that’s been changing lately as the crop gradually creeps northward and westward as new crop genetics come into play. And now agricultural giant Monsanto is developing what it hopes will be North America’s[...]

Dow to sell new GM soy seed under tight U.S. controls, awaiting China approval

CHICAGO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Dow AgroSciences will launch under tight controls in the United States a genetically engineered soybean seed that has been barred by major importers, the company said Wednesday. Dow hope to avoid roiling global trade while making sales to farmers. To avoid accidently getting the new soybean into the export pipeline[...]

EU pesticide debate needs more "independent expertise" - Macron

PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) - France and the European Union need independent scientific experts to guide them on divisive environmental issues such as pesticides, French President Emmanuel Macron said, criticising some research as prone to lobbying pressures. The EU has struggled to find a consensus on farming questions such as pesticides and genetically modified crops,[...]

Canada-EU free trade deal now in force

When the Canadian government was selling the free trade deal with the European Union to the public, it repeatedly mentioned one of the benefits being the elimination of duties on wheat and durum. It said the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) would wipe out tariffs of up to $122 per tonne on wheat and[...]

U.S. scientists to skip Monsanto dicamba summit

CHICAGO, Ill. (Reuters) —Monsanto invited dozens of weed scientists to a summit last week to win backing for a controversial herbicide, but many declined, threatening the company’s efforts to convince regulators the product is safe to use.
Monsanto faces a barrage of lawsuits over its dicamba herbicide and risks of tighter restrictions on its use after[...]

French gov't open to phasing out glyphosate

PARIS, Sept 25 (Reuters) - France is open to a gradual phasing out common weedkiller glyphosate, the government said on Monday, following complaints from farmers worried about a potential imminent ban. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe reiterated Paris would vote against the European Commission's proposal to extend for 10 years the licence for glyphosate, which is[...]

Who is Carey Gillam?

To people who are skeptical about pesticides and leery of global agri-companies, 
Carey Gillam is a truth-telling hero. To Monsanto and supporters of modern agriculture, Gillam is a campaigner, a spreader of misinformation and an irrational activist. Gillam, who was an agricultural reporter for Reuters in Kansas City from 1998 to 2015, sees it differently.[...]

Author hopes book provides insight

Carey Gillam had little interest in agriculture, pesticides or GM technology in 1998, but now it’s become her life.
Somewhere over the last two decades she realized that farming and food is “life.”
“I don’t think there’s any more important topic,” she said. “It’s our families. It’s the food we serve our kids.”
Gillam emphasizes she’s not anti-glyphosate.[...]

Journalist or writer?

I have met former journalist Carey Gillam several times over the years while reporting in the same agricultural and commodity circles.
On pages 48 and 49 this week you can read more about her and her recent book about the threat that she feels commercial agricultural practices bring to society — specifically, glyphosate use and related[...]

Bayer says needs more time for Monsanto deal approval

MONHEIM, Germany, Sept 19 (Reuters) - German drugs and pesticides group Bayer said on Tuesday it was now likely to be early next year before it can complete its US$66 billion deal to acquire U.S. group Monsanto, later than previously expected. The European Commission has been scrutinising the proposed takeover with a deadline of Jan.[...]

Renew glyphosate licence French and German farmers urge

PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - French and German farmers jointly called on European governments to renew the licence for glyphosate herbicide, saying there was no evidence it was toxic and banning it would severely harm farming. The European Union is due to decide by the end of the year whether to extend the licensing of[...]

Easy-to-grow perception a problem for flax

INDIAN HEAD, Sask. — Researchers are responding to producer complaints about seemingly unpredictable flax yields, says Rachel Evans, extension agronomist with the Flax Council of Canada. “Some producers tend to think of flax as a low input crop, but in fact, it is quite the opposite,” Evans said during the Indian Head Agricultural Research Foundation’s[...]

France to vote against licence renewal for weed killer glyphosate

PARIS, Aug 30 (Reuters) - France will vote against renewing the European licence for weed killer glyphosate, an official at the environment ministry said, adding to uncertainty over the future of widely used products such as Monsanto's Roundup in the European Union. Concerns over glyphosate's risk to human health have prompted investigations by U.S. congressional[...]

To swath or not to swath?

A report that compares the costs and benefits of straight-cutting canola versus swathing may answer some lingering questions about the best way to harvest it. But it doesn’t offer a definitive recommendation on how canola should be taken off. It says there are significant gains and costs associated with both straight-cutting and swathing. “Straight cut[...]