Corn Wars

From: New Republic

The farm-by-farm fight between China and the United States to dominate the global food supply.

By Ted Genoways

On September 30, 2012, agents from the FBI contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with an urgent request. They wanted bags from two passengers on an outbound flight to Beijing pulled for immediate inspection. The passengers didn’t track as dangerous criminals: Li Shaoming, president of Beijing Kings Nower Seed Science & Technology, a large Chinese agricultural company that develops corn, rice, cotton, and canola seeds, and Ye Jian, the company’s crop research manager.

Sweet potato leader says: Agriculture needs Congress to resolve labor issues

From: Delta Fram Press

“All we’re asking for is for them to give us a viable guest worker program so agriculture can have a stable, adequate, and predictable supply of labor,” says Key Rentzel, executive director of the U.S. Sweet Potato Council.

Labor issues remain a challenge for U.S. agriculture, and particularly for sectors that are labor-intensive such as fruits and vegetables, says Kay Rentzel.

“We know the labor regulation system is broken; Congress knows it’s broken,” she said at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s annual sweet potato commodity meeting. “This is especially critical to farmers who rely on workers to help at key times such as planting and harvest.”

ARA meets with OSHA officials regarding PSM reinterpretation

From: Ag Professional

By Agricultural Retailers Association

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently changed its interpretation of the retail exemption under the Process Safety Management regulations.

Under the new interpretation, retail facilities are only exempt if their primary North American Industry Classification System code starts with 44 or 45. It is estimated that under this new interpretation an additional 4,800 facilities will now be subject to PSM. 3,800 of the 4,800 are estimated to be agricultural retail facilities.