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Agriculture

beautiful purple flowers against grass
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Kick off spring by digging into lawn and garden industry trends

March 20 marks what might just be the most eagerly anticipated first full day of spring in memory, as the majority of consumers nationwide look forward to the end of a very rough winter.  So in a nod to the season of fresh starts, you might want to find some facet of the lawn and […]

Massive beef recall prompts a look at local food-safety concerns
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Massive beef recall prompts a look at local food-safety concerns

News that a staggering 9 million pounds of beef are being recalled by Northern California processing plant, apparently due to incomplete inspection, is the sort of stomach-churning headline that catches readers’ eyes. It follows last month’s tainted-chicken problem, also in California, that eventually sickened prison inmates in Tennessee, according to CorrectionsOne.com, a site with news […]

CNN extreme weather photos
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From plumbers to bird-seed sellers, who gains when sub-zero temps hit?

It’ll take something pretty amazing to compete for headlines with the extreme weather outbreak ongoing this week across much of the United States.  When people are trying to make it through the daily commute and  other activities despite zero-degree temperatures, another half-foot of snow and other manifestations of Mother Nature, they won’t be in the […]

Pizza with lots of cheese
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Dear Reader: The farm bill, pizza and you

Editorials from the heartland are growing increasingly pessimistic about the prospects of farm billpassage before Congress decamps for holiday break.   And with the giant omnibus law back in the headlines — including the specter of $7/gallon milk, if the bill’s expiration automatically makes an old law kick in — you might want to dig around […]

Poinsettia tree
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Spotlight holiday horticulture for a fresh seasonal story

As we wait for Congress to return from vacation and take up the stalled farm bill — or perhaps pass an extension – there’s another aspect of agriculture that, aside from Christmas trees, often gets overlooked this time of year:  plants and flowers for seasonal décor. Live or real Christmas trees still are a $1 […]

TPP protestor
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Trans-Pacific Partnership: Gauging local support for foreign treaty

Like me, you may have seen references here and there to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, without really knowing what it is.   The TPP, announced by the White House in 2009, is a trade agreement being negotiated by nine countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States […]

Thanksgiving data at NRF
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Gobble, gobble & cha-ching: A cornucopia of Thanksgiving stories

Hard to believe there are only two weeks left until Thanksgiving, the day of eating, parades, football, traveling and — increasingly — shopping.   Each pasttime offers its own cornucopia of business angles.  Here are a few ideas to augment what you may already be doing.  And don’t forget to tune in on Nov. 18 to SABEW’s “From Turkey […]

A global glut puts the spotlight on U.S. sugar subsidies
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A global glut puts the spotlight on U.S. sugar subsidies

As piles of leftover Halloween loot are picked over for what’s left of the good stuff, and the pumpkin pies and sugarplums of the next couple of months warm up in the wings, it’s a good time to take a look at the business of sugar. Whether you cover food, health care, agriculture, alternative energy […]

mail truck in snow
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If the government shuts down, what does that really mean?

Whether it’s predictable political theater or a genuine possibility (or both), the impending month-end deadline for Congress to raise the nation’s debt ceiling or shut down the federal government will be the buzz this week.  Pundits are warning of dire consequences if these issues are not resolved quickly, and some say even the spectre of a […]