The virus has cast further doubt on China's ability to buy $36.5 billion of U.S. agricultural goods in 2020. | File photo

U.S. ag secretary unsure if coronavirus will slow China’s farm imports

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday he does not know whether China’s coronavirus outbreak will upset Beijing’s pledge to radically increase purchases of American farm goods as part of the countries’ recent trade deal. The virus has cast further doubt on China’s ability to buy $36.5 billion of U.S. agricultural […] Read more

Trump administration moves to remove 700,000 people from food stamps

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Wednesday it will make it harder for states to keep residents in the U.S. food stamp program in a move that is projected to end benefits for nearly 700,000 people. President Donald Trump has argued that many Americans receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, […] Read more

A constituency that helped carry Republican President Donald Trump to victory in 2016, U.S. farmers have been among the hardest hit from his trade policies that led to tariffs with key trading partners such as China, Canada and Mexico. | File photo

Many U.S. farmers fume at Washington, not Trump, over biofuel, trade policies

ROCHESTER, Minn./CHICAGO (Reuters) – American farmers helped elect President Donald Trump in 2016 on hopes he would shake up Washington and turn around a struggling agricultural economy, but many of his policies have actually stung farmers, notably his trade war with China and biofuel waivers for oil refiners. Many farmers are angry, and some are directing their anger […] Read more

Tyson Foods slowed chicken processing after U.S. recalls, raising costs

(Reuters) – Tyson Foods Inc slowed chicken processing after it recalled millions of pounds of poultry this year over concerns they contained extraneous materials like rubber and metal, Chief Executive Noel White said on Wednesday. The slower processing led to higher costs that contributed to a $220-million cut to the company’s expected adjusted earnings for […] Read more

USDA to probe beef market after Tyson plant fire

CHICAGO, (Reuters) – U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue ordered an investigation into widening prices between cattle and beef on Wednesday after a recent fire at a Tyson Foods Inc slaughterhouse in Holcomb, Kansas, shut the plant. Cattle prices have tanked because the fire temporarily eliminated a key buyer of livestock. Farmers have worried that meat packers […] Read more

Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated over unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions. | File photo

Farmer’s threat prompts USDA to pull staff from crop tour

HENRY COUNTY, Ill./CHICAGO, Aug 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat came over the phone from an angry farmer. Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not […] Read more

Tyson Foods slaughterhouse fire ignites U.S. beef prices

CHICAGO,  (Reuters) – Margins for U.S. beef processors climbed to a record high on Friday as the closure of a Tyson Foods Inc slaughterhouse due to a damaging fire last week fueled concerns about a shortage of hamburger meat and steaks. The indefinite shutdown sent meat buyers for restaurants, food service companies and grocery chains […] Read more

Hay bales damaged by flooding are piled up at a cattle feeding operation near Buffalo, Oklahoma, after a series of storms across the central plains put seeding behind schedule and damaged stored grain and forages. |  REUTERS/Gene Blevins photo

U.S. livestock dining on the finer things

U.S. farmers are feeding their livestock everything from outdated pet food and leftover bakery rolls to crops imported from South America after unprecedented spring planting delays boosted prices for locally grown corn. Corn is typically used to fatten hogs, cattle and poultry, but its high price has farmers in the $150 billion U.S. meat and […] Read more