Smithfield Sale Subject to more Extensive Review

The federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) will conduct a more extensive, second phase of review of the proposed acquisition of Smithfield Foods Inc. by Shuanghui International, a firm with ties to China’s largest pork processor.

In its release, Smithfield said “Smithfield and Shuanghui International remain committed to working cooperatively with CFIUS throughout the process. The CFIUS process is confidential and Smithfield and Shuanghui International do not intend to comment further on that process while it is ongoing.”
Although most CFIUS investigations are approved without the more extensive second phase of review, even those that are given additional scrutiny usually have been approved.

USDA ARS Studies Bee Health, Possible Causes for Population Decline

Declining honeybee colony populations continue to be a concern – and the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently participated in a study trying to discover why this decline is occurring.

USDA Agricultural Research Service Bee Research Leader Jeff Pettis says one possibility found during this study is exposure to certain fungicides – which is causing honeybees to be more vulnerable to the Nosema parasite…

FSA County Committee Nomination Deadline Approaching

Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers have about a week left to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local Farm Service Agency County Committees. FSA Administrator Juan Garcia is especially encouraging the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers – as well as women and minorities. For a complete list of eligibility requirements and nomination forms – visit www dot FSA dot USDA dot gov slash elections

The deadline to submit nominations is August 1st.

USDA Lowers Food Price Inflation Forecast for Rest of 2013

USDA analysts last year expected 2013 retail food price inflation to be up to four-percent because of the drought – but the current food price forecast is 1.5 to 2.5-percent. USDA Food Price Economist Ricky Volpe says there are several factors impacting the food price forecast…

But Volpe says even if the food at home CPI increases by more than one-half of one-percent every month for the rest of the year – the inflation will still just be 2.5-percent – which he says is unlikely to be sustained for six-months. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.