agriculture

Cash-Strapped Farmers Feed Candy to Cows

Cattle farmers struggling with record corn prices are feeding their cows chocolate bars, gummy worms, ice cream sprinkles, marshmallows, bits of hard candy and even powdered hot chocolate mix.

Why Trefis Thinks DuPont Stock Is Undervalued

DuPont is a major player in the high-performance materials, chemicals, coatings and agricultural products businesses -- all of which are likely to improve as the global economy recovers. It's also investing heavily in emerging markets such as China, which will give it new engines for growth.

Stink Bugs: A Most Vile Scourge, for Farmers and Homeowners

First spotted in Pennsylvania in 1998, the brown marmorated stink bug has marched far and wide, decimating crops wherever it shows up. It tends to overwinter in cozy American homes -- and it teaches a harsh olfactory lesson to anyone foolish enough to crush a stink bug.

Syngenta: An Agribusiness Stock That's Flourishing

Once unknown to most U.S. investors, Syngenta has blossomed as one of the world's leading agribusiness companies, with a hefty 19% global share in the multibillion-dollar crop-protection market and 11% in seed production. Its stock is near a record high.

For U.S. Beef Exports, 2010 Was Fat and Happy

The American beef market as rebounded since the dark days of 2003, when a cow found with "mad cow disease" virtually shut down U.S. beef and pork exports. Industry officials say 2010 was the best year on record for U.S. beef exports.

Could Yak Soon Become the New Buffalo?

Native to Asia's Himalayan Mountains and still exotic in the U.S. and Canada, yaks have some valuable qualities. They're environmentally sound, relatively easy to raise, have valuable wool and lower-fat meat than beef. Domestic yaks are still a cottage industry -- but gaining notice.

Food Prices Jumped to Record High in December

Food prices rose to a record high last month, overtaking even the levels seen during the 2007-2008 food crisis. The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation said its food price index rose to 214.7 points last month, an increase of almost 4.2% from November, according to The Financial Times. The index tracks the wholesale cost of commodities including wheat, corn and meats.

The Trade Deal With Korea Will Beef Up U.S. Meat Exports

Since the mad cow scare of 2003, South Korea has been a tough market for U.S. beef: The country first banned it, then severely limited imports. But a pending new Free Trade Agreement could mark the resumption of normal trade, and the start of a more prosperous era for American beef exports.

Deere Reports Quarterly Earnings of $1.07 Per Share

Deere & Co. (DE) reported earnings of $1.07 per share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared with a loss of 53 cents per share a year ago. The earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 included charges worth 76 cents per share related to the impairment of goodwill and voluntary employee separation, the world's largest maker of farm equipment said in a statement.

Rising Corn Prices Will Soon Mean Fatter Meat Prices

The price of corn has shot up 8% during the week of Oct. 11 alone, bringing the total rise to close to 50% in the last three months. As farmers cull herds to save feed costs, meat supplies will shrink -- and the price of hamburger and pork chops will be rising.

Cotton Prices Jump to Record High

Cotton prices jumped to a record high on Friday on strong Chinese demand and the prospect of reduced supply. In New York, ICE December cotton futures touched 119.80 cents a pound, the highest price since 1995, The Financial Times reported.

'Unprecedented' Bat Die-Off Could Devastate Farming

A fungus is threatening to kill off most of North America's bat population, and that's a really big deal. Bats eat bugs -- vast quantities of bugs that would otherwise eat our crops -- and they pollinate plants, too. If researchers can't save them, U.S. agriculture will suffer a major blow.

Meat Prices Highest Since 1980s - and Still Rising

The burger or bacon you put on your plate is likely at its most expensive since the 1980s, and it%u2019s only going to get pricier. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, driving up U.S. retail costs, and the rally is not over yet. The surging price of corn futures - which allow farmers to lock in the price of the grain for an extended period - means few farmers are expanding their herds, Bloomberg News reported. Meat prices have risen 14% this year, and the rally is not over yet.

Local Food Movement Gives Small Farms a Big Boost

The locavore, or local food, movement is gaining momentum, driven in part by recent food scares. Across the country, small, local farms are tapping into a growing market by selling meat and produce to health-conscious consumers and choosy restaurant chefs.

Corn Industry Wants to Make Corn Syrup Sound a Little Sweeter

The corn refining industry is seeking to make one of the most common ingredients in American food sound a little more palatable to health-conscious consumers and food companies. The Corn Refiners Associations filed a petition on Tuesday with the Food and Drug Administration to change the name of high fructose corn syrup to "corn sugar", The Wall Street Journal reported.