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  • South Florida's plant business wilts in weak market
    • Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009. By Georgia Tasker, The Miami Herald

      Nursery owners' fortunes have dried up with the housing market, so they are scrambling to find alternatives or otherwise stay afloat.
      Growers of landscape trees and shrubs in South Florida saw their business plunge with the crash of the housing market. To stay afloat, many have turned to new crops, planted less, plundered their retirement fund or even thrown crops away. More>>

  • Dairy cows head for slaughter as milk prices sour
    • Date: Monday, February 16, 2009. By Tracie Cone, Associated Press Writer

      Hundreds of thousands of America's dairy cows are being turned into hamburgers because milk prices have dropped so low that farmers can no longer afford to feed the animals.
      Dairy farmers say they have little choice but to sell part of their herds for slaughter because they face a perfect storm of destructive economic forces. At home, feed prices are rising and cash-strapped consumers are eating out less often. Abroad, the global recession has cut into demand for butter and cheese exported from the U.S. More>>

  • Smaller's better for South Florida's nurseries
    • Date: Monday, February 2, 2009. By Georgia Tasker, The Miami Herald

      Many consumers are more apt to put any extra dollars into food than ferns or flowers as they cope with a contracting economy. And this thriftiness is impacting South Florida's nursery industry.
      South Florida's ornamental plant and foliage industry is in an economic vise, and the problem is not just related to orchids. Nursery owners are tightening belts, laying off workers and looking for new strategies to stay afloat. More>>

  • Economy shrinks at 3.8 percent pace in 4Q
    • Date: Friday, January 30, 2009. By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

      Shoppers chopped spending on cars, furniture, appliances, clothes and other items. Businesses dropped the ax on equipment and software, home building and commercial construction.
      Although the initial result was better than economists expected, the figure is likely to be revised even lower in the months ahead and some believe the economy is contracting in the current quarter at a pace of around 5 percent. The current January-March period, they said, will probably turn out to be the worst quarter for the recession. More>>

  • Farmers Delay Fertilizer Purchases
    • Date: Friday, January 2, 2009. By Susanne Stahl, DTN Staff Reporter

      Wait-and-See Attitude on Fertilizer Buys May Clog System in Spring.
      Many fertilizer dealers are in a bind. Falling crop nutrient prices along with a prolonged harvest that pushed fall applications back 50 percent to 60 percent of normal in some areas has left them stocked with higher-priced inventory that growers are reluctant to take off their hands. More>>

  • Salmonella scare bungled, study finds
    • Date: Sunday, November 16, 2008. By Elaine Walker, The Miami Herald

      An academic report shows how the government mishandled this year's salmonella outbreak -- needlessly costing tomato growers millions of dollars.
      A lack of coordination and communication between government agencies over the handling of this year's salmonella outbreak may have unfairly kept the focus on tomatoes and caused unnecessary economic harm to the industry. More>>

  • Nitrogen emerges as the latest climate-change threat
    • Date: Monday, September 15, 2008. By Robert S. Boyd, McClatchy Newspapers

      Scientists are raising alarms about yet another threat to Earth's climate and human well-being. This time it's nitrogen, a common element essential to all life.
      It's becoming clear that human activities, such as driving cars and raising crops, also are boosting nitrogen to dangerous levels - polluting air and water and damaging human health. More>>

  • Group honors student trio for hard work
    • Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008. By Sophia Pino, The Miami Herald

      The Redland Citizens Association honors three students striving to improve local farming by setting up a scholarship in the name of the late 'Strawberry King,' Charlie Burr.
      Tara Tarnowski, Marcio Pereira and Isaya Kisekka are three researchers with a common goal: improving South Florida agriculture. Friends, family and local officials converged upon Burr's Berry Farm in The Redland to honor the three students with a grant to aid them in the pursuit of their research in subtropical agriculture. More>>

  • Fed's challenge: Balance the economy
    • Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2008. By Kevin G. Hall, The Miami Herald

      The tug of economic forces toward both recession and inflation have the Federal Reserve in a regulatory bind.
      Not since the 1970s has the U.S. economy faced such an ugly combination of a persistent energy shock, a looming recession threat, and menacing inflation that stays stubbornly high -- even in the face of a screeching slowdown in growth. More>>

  • Global food crisis: Latin America has both abundance and want
    • Date: Sunday, June 15, 2008. By Pamela Cox, The Miami Herald

      Latin American and Caribbean countries face a critical paradox. On the one hand, the region has a rich agricultural tradition, and several countries are among the world's largest food exporters.
      As world leaders left the Rome summit with plans to aid the world's poor struggling with record food prices, it is important to consider some unique characteristics of Latin American and Caribbean countries. High commodity prices present an opportunity for the region to increase food supply while confronting the urgent challenge to help those most in need during this crisis. More>>

  • Latin, Caribbean leaders prepare for the economic worst
    • Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2008. By Jane Bussey and Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald

      Latin American and Caribbean countries are bracing for repercussions from a U.S. slowdown while urging the Inter-American Development Bank to find ways to boost future lending for countries that may need potential rescues.
      The Dominican Republic is boosting its foreign reserves; Ecuador -- which resisted the fading Washington prescription of economic restructuring -- has stretched out debt payments to free up more money for immediate needs; while Chile has been setting aside its windfall copper profits in a national piggy bank. More>>

  • Treasury secretary praises Latin economies
    • Date: Tuesday, April 8, 2008. By The Miami Herald

      Hemispheric leaders, meeting in Miami Beach, got few answers from the U.S. on how their economies might weather a financial fallout.
      With the U.S. economy nearing or in recession, financial leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean hoped U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's speech Monday in Miami Beach might provide insight on how their economies will be affected. More>>

  • Food prices on rise worldwide
    • Date: Sunday, March 30, 2008. By Katherine Corcoran, Associated Press

      Freak weather is a factor. But so are dramatic changes in the global economy, including higher oil prices, lower food reserves and growing consumer demand in China and India.
      Soaring grocery bills aren't just a distressing trend that U.S. consumers are facing. From subsistence farmers eating rice in Ecuador to gourmands feasting on escargot in France, consumers worldwide face rising food prices in what analysts call a perfect storm of adverse conditions and new trends. More>>

  • The mounting cost of food
    • Date: Sunday, March 30, 2008. By Betsy Blaney, Associated Press

      One more reason to cut the carbs: Record-high wheat and grain prices are hitting everything from pasta to pizza.
      The price of wheat has more than tripled during the past 10 months, making Americans' daily bread -- and bagels and pizza and pasta -- feel a little likAnd baked goods aren't the only ones getting more expensive: Experts expect about 80 percent of grocery prices will spike, too, and could remain steep for years because wheat and other grains are used to feed cattle, poultry and dairy cows. More>>

  • Argentine farmers return to barricades
    • Date: Saturday, March 29, 2008. By Bill Cormier, Associated Press

      Farmworkers resumed highway blockades in four rural provinces -- Entre Rios, Cordoba, Santa Fe and Chaco.
      Farmers chafing at export taxes on their crops set up new blockades of rural highways on Saturday after talks failed to end a dispute that has halted grain exports and emptied supermarket shelves of meat. More>>

  • Argentine farm protest enters third week
    • Date: Thursday, March 27, 2008. By Bill Cormier, Associated Press

      Striking farmers built new highway blockades around Argentina's agricultural heartland Wednesday in a standoff with the president over tax increases on major export crops.
      The nationwide farm and ranch strike headed into a third week, all but paralyzing one of the leading world exporters of soybeans, beef and wheat. There were no reports of major violence despite tension and fisticuffs at one barricade and huge traffic jams elsewhere. More>>

  • Argentine farmers protest export tax hike
    • Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008. By Jack Chang and Vinod Sreeharsha, McClatchy News Service

      Argentine farmers angrily protested an increase in export taxes by mounting roadblocks and snarling traffic in parts of the country.
      Tensions have simmered since former President Néstor Kirchner began imposing export bans two years ago on some cuts of beef to control rising prices. Price controls and export bans on wheat and other products followed, further enraging farmers. More>>

  • Argentine farm strike tests president
    • Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008. By Bill Cormier, Associated Press

      South America's second-largest economy - a leading exporter of soybeans, beef and wheat - is in full farmbelt rebellion over a new sliding-scale increase in export taxes.
      President Cristina Fernandez refused to ease tax hikes on agricultural exports Tuesday, facing down angry farmers embroiled in a nationwide strike that has all but halted production in one of the world's biggest beef-exporting nations. More>>

  • Argentine farmers lash out at government restrictions
    • Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2008. By Jack Chang and Vinod Sreeharsha, McClatchy News Service

      Farmers set up roadblocks and refused to release their production to protest an export tax increase on some products.
      Government officials counter that farmers have earned record profits as international commodity prices soared over the past two years and can afford to pay the higher taxes. The new system raises taxes when prices rise and reduces them when prices fall. More>>

  • 'Yes, we are in a recession' -- just ask your neighbor
    • Date: Friday, March 21, 2008. By Scott Andron, The Miami Herald

      Economists are finally starting to figure out what we working stiffs have known for a while: The recession is already here.
      For months, many economists believed neither South Florida nor the nation was in a recession or likely to enter one soon. But in the last few weeks, those optimistic assessments have collided with new statistics showing record-high oil prices and vanishing jobs amid the escalating real estate meltdown. More>>

  • Study: Ethanol may add to global warming
    • Date: Friday, February 8, 2008. By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press

      The widespread use of ethanol from corn could result in nearly twice the greenhouse gas emissions as the gasoline it would replace because of expected land-use changes.
      The researchers said that past studies showing the benefits of ethanol in combating climate change have not taken into account almost certain changes in land use worldwide if ethanol from corn - and in the future from other feedstocks such as switchgrass - become a prized commodity. More>>

  • Xethanol Announces Grant Application for Citrus Waste to Ethanol Production
    • Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2007. By The Miami Herald

      Xethanol intends to build a demonstration plant for converting citrus peel waste into ethanol.
      Xethanol Corporation (AMEX: XNL), a renewable energy company, today announced that its subsidiary Southeast Biofuels LLC has filed a grant application with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to expand the company's work on converting waste to energy, using citrus waste as the raw material and converting it into ethanol. More>>

  • Strong economic growth continues in Latin America
    • Date: Friday, December 14, 2007. By Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      Latin America and the Caribbean mark the fifth year of strong economic expansion, expected to continue next year.
      Economies in Latin America and the Caribbean are headed into their sixth consecutive year of strong growth in 2008, raising prospects they will be cushioned from the financial turbulence sweeping the globe. More>>

  • Biofuels generate interest
    • Date: Thursday, December 6, 2007. By Jane Bussey and Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald

      The 31st annual Miami Conference on the Caribbean Basin focused on how the region can benefit from an increase in biofuel production.
      Biofuels once had the connotation of an energy source of the future. But extracting energy from sugar cane, corn, palm oil, and grasses has rapidly become an industry of the present and an opportunity for Central American and Caribbean nations. More>>

  • U.S. economy No. 1 again
    • Date: Wednesday, October 31, 2007. By Eliane Engeler, Associated Press

      The World Economic Forum ranked the United States as the most competitive economy in the world, followed by Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Finland.
      The United States has regained its status as the world's most competitive economy thanks to strong innovation and excellent universities, according to a survey released Wednesday by the World Economic Forum. More>>

  • Biofuel is the region's next promising venture
    • Date: Sunday, September 16, 2007. By Tyler Bridges, The Miami Herald

      Most Latin American and Caribbean countries are rushing forward with plans to begin exporting biofuels by 2010, undeterred that Brazil has jumped far ahead with its production of ethanol.
      Companies in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica and El Salvador are importing sugar cane-based ethanol from Brazil, processing it and then shipping it duty-free to the United States, under the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the Central America Free Trade Agreement. More>>

  • Ethanol debuts in South Florida
    • Date: Thursday, September 13, 2007. By Martha Brannigan, The Miami Herald

      A U Gas station has made E85 fuel publicly available for the first time in South Florida.
      The U Gas station near the Mall of the Americas in Miami-Dade County plans to begin selling E85 fuel -- an ethanol gasoline mixture -- for flex-fuel vehicles today. That makes it the first service station in South Florida to offer E85 to the public. More>>

  • Brazil wants probe of U.S. farm aid
    • Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2007. By Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press

      Brazil will ask the World Trade Organization for a formal investigation of U.S. farm subsidy programs, which it says includes payments for ethanol production.
      The dispute could become a major case for the global commerce body, which has largely steered clear of energy issues in its 12-year history. More>>

  • Water woes could mean more limits
    • Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2007. By Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald

      With Lake Okeechobee remaining low, water managers warn of tougher restrictions in the future.
      It adds up to a case of drought déjà vu -- another looming water shortage that could be deeper than the one that cost farmers tens of millions and browned suburban yards across South Florida this year. More>>

  • White House hopefuls love Iowa ethanol
    • Date: Thursday, August 30, 2007. By Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press

      Don't expect to hear much talk about farming from the presidential candidates who regularly tour Iowa, one of the nation's premier agriculture states.
      At a time when demand for the corn-based fuel is soaring, support for ethanol among candidates is nearly unanimous and has largely crowded out talk of other agriculture-related issues. More>>

  • Ethanol makers join food vs. fuel debate
    • Date: Thursday, August 2, 2007. By Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press

      Somebody else is profiting, and it certainly isn't the huge profits going to the Iowa corn grower.
      Ethanol producers are clamoring over food industry claims that prices on everything from popcorn to soda are skyrocketing because of the rising demand for corn to make the renewable fuel. More>>

  • What's next? Citrus peels to ethanol
    • Date: Friday, July 20, 2007. By Marc Caputo and Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      FPL Energy has a plan to produce cleaner fuel by turning agricultural waste -- citrus peels, specifically -- into ethanol.
      FPL Energy announced plans to partner with a citrus processor and a new energy firm to build one of the world's first processing plants that would convert citrus peels into the gasoline additive ethanol. A likely spot for the plant: U.S. Sugar's Hendry County citrus facility. More>>

  • FPL announces plans to convert citrus waste into ethanol
    • Date: Thursday, July 19, 2007. By Phil Davis, Associated Press

      The FPL plant is expected to produce about 4 million gallons of ethanol a year to be sold as a gasoline additive in Florida.
      An FPL Group subsidiary announced plans to develop a first-of-its-kind commercial plant to convert orange and grapefruit waste into ethanol that will be sold to Florida motorists at gasoline pumps. More>>

  • Brazil leads the way in biofuels exports
    • Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2007. By Tyler Bridges, The Miami Herald

      Latin American and Caribbean countries -- from Mexico and St. Kitts and Nevis to Peru -- are trying to catch the biofuels wave.
      Government officials throughout the region say they want to help reduce global warming and improve public health by producing a less-polluting fuel, but the main driver is the desire to create jobs, attract new investment and increase exports to the United States and Europe. More>>

  • Seeds from plant said biodiesel source
    • Date: Tuesday, July 10, 2007. By Randall Chase, Associated Press

      While the seashore mallow might be handy for a quick snack, the sturdy plant has provided Gallagher food for thought in addressing a smorgasbord of environmental problems.
      Unlike soybeans and corn, which require annual plantings to feed the growing appetite for biofuels, the pink-flowered seashore mallow is both a perennial and a halophyte, or salt-tolerant plant, that grows in areas where other crops can't. More>>

  • Workers say pesticides made them sterile
    • Date: Monday, July 9, 2007. By Noaki Schwartz, Associated Press

      The pesticide was designed to kill worms infesting the roots of banana trees on Latin American plantations.
      At least 5,000 agricultural workers from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama have filed five lawsuits in this country claiming they were left sterile after being exposed in the 1970s to the pesticide known as DBCP. More>>

  • Ethanol pioneers dream big
    • Date: Thursday, June 28, 2007. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      The giant seed and chemicals company could help them develop the ethanol market.
      In the emerging and rapidly changing ethanol industry, business executives, farmers and scientists view biofuels as both a business and a mission to help reduce U.S. dependence on oil and help the environment. More>>

  • Brazil's strong currency -- the real -- is forcing importers to be creative
    • Date: Sunday, June 17, 2007. By Martha Brannigan, The Miami Herald

      These days it's becoming almost impossible to import stuff from Brazil.
      ince the start of 2003, the Brazilian real has gained 83 percent in value against the dollar, including 10 percent so far this year alone. That makes Brazilian imports relatively more expensive and U.S. exports to Brazil relatively cheap. More>>

  • Organic farmland in Europe doubles
    • Date: Wednesday, June 13, 2007. By Aoife White, Associated Press

      European organic farmland has doubled since 1998 and the EU is implementing policies intended to spur more interest in organics.
      The 15 nations that joined the European Union before 2004 -- mostly in Western Europe -- increased organic farmland from 1.8 percent of all land under the plow in 1998 to 4.1 percent in 2005. More>>

  • Organic dairies test organic feed supply
    • Date: Sunday, June 10, 2007. By Shannon Dininny, Associated Press

      It comes as no surprise to anyone that the number of organic farms is booming to meet consumer demand for healthy food.
      Dairy farmers are no exception. Demand for consumer organic dairy products has grown by more than 20 percent each year, a trend that is expected to continue at least in the near term. More>>

  • U.N. raises doubts on biofuels
    • Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2007. By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

      The world had both the money and technology to prevent global warming blamed in part on greenhouse gas emissions.
      Biofuels like ethanol can help reduce global warming and create jobs for the rural poor, but the benefits may be offset by serious environmental problems and increased food prices for the hungry. More>>

  • Switch to organic crops could help poor
    • Date: Saturday, May 5 2007. By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

      Researchers told a U.N. conference Saturday that a large-scale shift to organic agriculture could help fight world hunger while improving the environment.
      Researchers in Denmark found, however, that food security for sub-Saharan Africa would not be seriously harmed if 50 percent of agricultural land in the food exporting regions of Europe and North America were converted to organic by 2020. More>>

  • New Biotech product could end up in feed
    • Date: Thursday, May 3, 2007. By Amy Lorentzen, Associated Press

      Ethanol industry leaders say a new biotech product that helps corn fight off pests could end up in exported animal feed and risk the industry's relationship with foreign markets.
      The trait has not been approved for export markets but is being sold to growers in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The trait could end up in exported distillers grains, a byproduct of ethanol production that is fed to livestock. More>>

  • Ethanol juggernaut moves through D.C.
    • Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2007. By H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press

      Nebraska hog producer Joy Philippi says livestock farmers "are having jitters" over ethanol, worried there won't be enough corn left for the pigs.
      There is an ethanol juggernaut moving through Congress that will call for a sevenfold increase in biofuels production - almost all of it ethanol - over the next 15 years. Presidential primaries, anger over gasoline prices and global warming make ethanol a potent political issue for both parties. More>>

  • Drought forces consideration of year-round water restrictions
    • Date: Tuesday, May 1, 2007. By Brian Skoloff, Associated Press

      Florida's worsening drought conditions - one of the driest periods on record - could result in year-round water restrictions for residents and farmers as forecasters say no real relief is in sight.
      Lake Okeechobee, a backup drinking water source for millions in South Florida and the lifeblood of the Everglades, is nearing a record low at 9.6 feet, four feet below average. It was the first time in history that Everglades water was deemed off-limits. More>>

  • Why is Florida so dry?
    • Date: Monday, April 30, 2007. By Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald

      Some people in South Florida may have a hard time believing it, but state water managers insist that, yes, things really are serious.
      ''Droughts are slow-simmering water emergencies, not sudden flares like floods or hurricanes,'' said Carol Ann Wehle, executive director of the South Florida Water Management District. ''But they can be just as dangerous, because they impact our drinking-water supplies, the environment and our regional economy.'' More>>

  • The Americas must work to maintain their advantage in biofuels
    • Date: Monday, April 30, 2007. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      From President Bush signing an ethanol cooperation accord with Brazil to green conferences to a flurry of alternative energy ventures, biofuels have graduated from science page to front page.
      Much of the attention has focused on ethanol, a biodegradable alcohol usually distilled from sugar. Brazil is the leading producer of sugar-based ethanol while the United States makes most of its ethanol from corn. But just about any biodegradable product, from grasses to citrus waste, can be used as a fuel or gasoline additive. More>>

  • Chávez tries to defuse ethanol rift with Brazil
    • Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2007. By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press

      Venezuela President Hugo Chávez said he is opposed to American corn-based ethanol and not Brazil's sugar-cane version.
      Chávez said he does not object to ethanol, which the United States and Brazil have agreed to jointly promote, but that he does oppose U.S. plans to step up production of ethanol made from corn. He called it ''taking corn away from people and the food chain to feed automobiles -- a terrible thing.'' More>>

  • Brazil defends ethanol deal at summit
    • Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2007. By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press

      Brazil is defending its ethanol agreement with the United States, despite efforts by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to undermine the deal using his country's vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
      Chavez, a staunch critic of U.S. President George W. Bush, has warned that Brazil's deal with Washington would monopolize arable lands and starve the poor - concerns shared by his Cuban ally Fidel Castro. More>>

  • Chávez rips U.S.-Brazil deal
    • Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2007. By Fabiola Sanchez, Associated Press

      Hosting an energy summit in Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez assailed an ethanol pact between the United States and Brazil.
      President Hugo Chávez attempted to derail a U.S.-Brazil ethanol agreement as host of an energy summit on Monday, offering his own development plans for South America using Venezuela's vast reserves of oil and natural gas. More>>

  • Drought may force Glades action
    • Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2007. By Mary Ellen Klas, The Miami Herald

      Florida's drought is poised to break records and force more drastic moves, state officials told the governor.
      Florida's drought has all the makings of becoming one of the worst in state history, requiring water managers to drain water from the Everglades to pump into drinking-water wells. More>>

  • Global warming may put U.S. in hot water
    • Date: Tuesday, April 17, 2007. By Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

      As the world warms, water - either too little or too much of it - is going to be the major problem for the United States.
      It will be a domestic problem, with states clashing over controls of rivers, and a national security problem as water shortages and floods worsen conflicts and terrorism elsewhere in the world. More>>

  • Imported food rarely inspected
    • Date: Monday, April 16, 2007. By Andrew Bridges, Associated Press

      Just 1.3 percent of imported fish, vegetables, fruit and other foods are inspected - yet those government inspections regularly reveal food unfit for human consumption.
      Frozen catfish from China, beans from Belgium, jalapenos from Peru, blackberries from Guatemala, baked goods from Canada, India and the Philippines - the list of tainted food detained at the border by the Food and Drug Administration stretches on. More>>

  • ConocoPhillips, Tyson team on project
    • Date: Monday, April 16, 2007. By John Porretto, Associated Press

      Oil major ConocoPhillips and Tyson Foods Inc., the world's largest meat producer, are teaming up to produce and market diesel fuel for U.S. vehicles using beef, pork and poultry fat.
      The companies said they've collaborated over the past year on ways to combine Tyson's expertise in protein chemistry and production with ConocoPhillips' processing and marketing knowledge to introduce a renewable diesel fuel with lower carbon emissions than conventional fuels. More>>

  • Biotech seeks to ease reliance on corn
    • Date: Sunday, April 15, 2007. By Paul Elias, Associated Press

      The ethanol craze is putting the squeeze on corn supplies and causing food prices to rise.
      Scientists are engineering microscopic bugs to extract fuel from a variety of non-corn sources, including the human urinary tract, a Russian fungus and the plant responsible for tequila. More>>

  • IMF economist: U.S. not facing recession
    • Date: Thursday, April 5, 2007. By Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press

      The U.S. economy - despite a painful housing slump - should not fall into recession this year, the International Monetary Fund's top economist said Thursday.
      Worries about the country's economic health have been fanned in recent weeks by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who has said he thinks there's a one-in-three chance of a recession this year. However, current Fed chief Ben Bernanke told Congress last week that he doesn't believe the economic expansion, now in its sixth year, is in danger of fizzling out. More>>

  • High fuel blends said crucial for ethanol
    • Date: Thursday, April 5, 2007. By Dirk Lammers, Associated Press

      Boosting the level of ethanol used in fuel blends is crucial to continuing the alternative energy industry's rapid growth, a panel of experts said.
      About half of the gasoline sold across the United States is blended with 10 percent ethanol, but that percentage needs to increase for ethanol to go from being merely an additive to a true alternative. More>>

  • Venezuela's Chávez makes a U-turn on ethanol
    • Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2007. By Phil Gunson, The Miami Herald

      With President Bush supporting ethanol initiatives, some leftist leaders have altered their stances to reflect anti-U.S. policies.
      Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez was on the ethanol bandwagon. Until, that is, President Bush jumped aboard. Now, it seems, ethanol is a threat to the poor. More>>

  • Castro again blasts ethanol
    • Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2007. By Anita Snow, Associated Press

      ''Where are the poor countries of the Third World going to get the minimum resources to survive?'' asked the article, Reflections of the Commander in Chief.
      Cuba's government on Wednesday issued the second article in a week about ethanol production signed by Fidel Castro, with the ailing leader reiterating his charge that the use of food crops to produce biofuels for automobiles could leave the world's poor hungry. More>>

  • U.S., Brazil discuss free trade, ethanol
    • Date: Sunday, April 1, 2007. By Pablo Bachelet, The Miami Herald

      Presidents Bush and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva cemented their alliance at a five-hour meeting in Camp David.
      President Bush and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leaders of the hemisphere's most populous nations, pledged to jointly tackle some of humanity's most daunting challenges: free trade and global warming. More>>

  • Farmers to plant more corn to meet demands
    • Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007. By Nafeesa Syeed And David Pitt, Associated Press

      U.S. farmers are planning to grow 15 percent more corn this year to meet ethanol demands, but some warn this may increase food prices and hurt the poor.
      An ethanol-fueled boom in prices will prompt American farmers to plant the most corn since the year the Allies invaded Normandy, but surging demand could mean consumers still may pay more for everything from chicken to cough syrup. More>>

  • Why biofuels alliance is a good idea
    • Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007. By Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, The Washington Post

      We are launching a partnership to enhance the role of ethanol fuel in our countries' energy mixes while moving to make biodiesel fuel more widely available.
      Today I will visit with President Bush at Camp David to follow up on conversations we had a few weeks ago in Sao Paulo. We have taken an important first step toward committing our countries to developing clean and renewable energy sources that will ensure the prosperity of our peoples while protecting the environment. More>>

  • Rice industry rejects bioscience plan
    • Date: Saturday, March 31, 2007. By Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, The Washington Post

      The country's growers would suffer "financial devastation" if modified crops contaminate the commercial supply.
      Agriculture Department officials are considering a request by California-based Ventria Bioscience to grow rice engineered to contain human proteins on hundreds of acres of farmland near Junction City, Kan. More>>

  • Ethanol demand boosts corn planting
    • Date: Friday, March 30, 2007. By Nafeesa Syeed, Associated Press

      High demand from the ethanol industry and strong export sales are expected to translate this year into the biggest U.S. corn planting since 1944.
      Corn planting will be up 15 percent this year to 90.5 million acres and 12.1 million more acres than in 2006. A lot of the producers in the Midwest are planting more corn and not as much soybean,even some southern farmers are choosing corn over cotton and rice. More>>

  • Economy expected to remain sluggish
    • Date: Thursday, March 29, 2007. By Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press

      After ending 2006 lethargically, the economy is expected to remain sluggish most of this year as businesses and consumers cope with fallout from the painful housing slump.
      According to various projections, GDP growth will remain mediocre, hovering at around the 2 percent to 2.5 percent pace in the first half of this year. In contrast, the economy's average, or trend, growth rate is closer to 3.25 percent. More>>

  • Economist: Biofuel may raise food prices
    • Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2007. By Nate Jenkins, Associated Press

      Increased production of biofuels such as ethanol might help farmers' bottom lines and address climate-change concerns, but it could inflate food prices worldwide.
      Corn prices have already begun to soar. A rush to turn more acres into corn production could decrease supplies of other commodities, driving up prices of them as well. More>>

  • Can technology help produce blossom?
    • Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007. By Kyle Bailey, The Miami Herald

      Research underway at the Tropical Research and Education Center may one day change the way we eat, the way we drive and what farmers choose to grow.
      Moving beyond pure science, the center hired Edward ''Gilly'' Evans, the first economist in the center's 76-year history. He came on board in 2004 in response to increasing globalization of the world economy. More>>

  • Homegrown fuel takes root
    • Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007. By Kyle Bailey, The Miami Herald

      A car that runs on sweet potatoes? It may sound far-fetched, but scientists are hoping that one day the fuel in your gas tank will be homegrown.
      The idea of extracting ethanol and bio-diesel from locally grown crops holds immense potential for South Florida farmers, said Wagner Vendrame, a researcher at the Tropical Research and Education Center. More>>

  • Biotechs rush to embrace alternative fuels
    • Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007. By Paul Elias, Associated Press

      The recent push to develop alternative fuels is driving biotechnology's growth into the industrial sector.
      Thousands of corporate executives and scientists gather this weekend in Orlando for an industry trade show specifically aimed at touting biotechnology's so-called third wave, industrial applications. The word on everyone's lips: ethanol. More>>

  • Redbay trees dying; could be in danger across Southeast
    • Date: Sunday, March 18, 2007. By Associated Press

      A little used but ecologically important tree is dying in droves along the Southeast coast because of an insect imported through the ports from Asia.
      The redbay, which typically serves as lush greenery in the 15-25 foot height range in coastal forests, is being killed by the redbay ambrosia beetle - an Asian import that likely came to the states in redbay wood used in packing crates. More>>

  • Consumer inflation, industrial output up
    • Date: Friday, March 16, 2007. By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

      Consumer inflation spurted higher in February, reflecting rising costs for gasoline and big jumps for food, while industrial output rebounded sharply, in large part because of the biggest jump in utility production in 17 years.
      The Labor Department reported Friday that its Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4 percent last month, double the January increase and the largest advance since a similar increase in December. More>>

  • Water cutbacks ordered for South Florida
    • Date: Friday, March 16, 2007. By Curtis Morgan, Georgia Tasker and Phil Long, The Miami Herald

      As expected, water managers ordered limits on lawn sprinkling and most uses -- and this time the restrictions could wind up permanent.
      Homes in Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and eastern Palm Beach counties soon could be down to two and even one sprinkling day a week if a 14-month dry spell stretches as expected into June, the normal start of the rainy season. More>>

  • South Florida hit by water restrictions
    • Date: Friday, March 16, 2007. By Jessica Gresko, Associated Press

      Crops, flower beds and golf courses will have to go thirsty after restrictions on water consumption were imposed on southeast Florida amid lower than normal rainfall.
      The mandatory limits come as Florida growers head into the part of the year where they need the most water. They also come as the state heads into the two months of the year that are usually the driest. More>>

  • Water restrictions imposed due to critical South Florida shortage
    • Date: Thursday, March 15, 2007. By Jessica Gresko, Associated Press

      Thirsty crops, flower beds and golf courses will be some of the results of water restrictions imposed Thursday on southeast Florida.
      The measures are aimed at cutting the region's water consumption by 15 percent and more in some areas. They come after more than a year of below-normal rainfall in South Florida. More>>

  • Ethanol's corn need will raise meat price
    • Date: Saturday, March 10, 2007. By Libby Quaid, Associated Press

      Ethanol fuel plants' demand for corn is raising the cost of feeding livestock and, in turn, the cost of meat.
      The culprit is the rising price of corn. It's now more expensive to feed livestock, because there's so much demand for corn from ethanol plants. As feeding costs rise, meat and poultry production will fall. And that in turn means higher prices at the supermarket. More>>

  • Farm irrigation blamed for water woes
    • Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2007. By Maria Sudekum Fisher, Associated Press

      Some farm groups contend water is plentiful and irrigation is necessary to sustain crops and the livelihoods of the people and businesses that rely on a solid farm economy.
      But environmental groups are among those who claim irrigation - particularly west of the Mississippi - has helped dry up streams and lower reservoirs, and has threatened the land's long-term viability. More>>

  • Plunging Lake Okeechobee could bring water cutbacks
    • Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2007. By Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald

      As a drought continues to takes its toll on Lake Okeechobee, water managers warn more restrictions could be on the way for South Florida.
      The problem: When the huge lake, which doubles as South Florida's water barrel, drops low enough, gravity alone no longer pushes enough water into the canals that replenish irrigation systems for surrounding sugar cane fields and groundwater supplies for metropolitan Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. More>>

  • Gasification may be key to U.S. ethanol
    • Date: Sunday, March 4, 2007. By Dirk Lammers, Associated Press

      The government awarded $385 million in grants last week aimed at jumpstarting ethanol production from nontraditional sources like wood chips, switchgrass and citrus peels.
      President Bush set a goal in his State of the Union address of producing 20 percent of the nation's fuel supply from renewable resources by 2017. Much of those supplies will come from the conversion of corn into enthanol, fueled by a boom in new ethanol plant construction that's already under way. More>>

  • Bush seeks ethanol alliance with Brazil
    • Date: Sunday, March 4, 2007. By Alan Clendenning, Associated Press

      In only a few years, Brazil has turned itself into the planet's undisputed renewable energy leader, and the highlight of Bush's visit is expected to be a new ethanol "alliance" he will forge with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
      The deal is still being negotiated, but the two leaders are expected to sign an accord Friday to develop standards to help turn ethanol into an internationally traded commodity, and to promote sugar cane-based ethanol production in Central America and the Caribbean to meet rising international demand. More>>

  • U.S., Brazil launch biofuels forum
    • Date: Saturday, March 3, 2007. By Alexandra Olson, Associated Press

      The world's two top ethanol producers - the U.S. and Brazil - announced the creation of an international forum to help expand the global market for biofuels.
      The International Biofuel Forum will meet regularly for a year to draft global standards for biofuel production, find ways to open markets and encourage investment in countries with the potential to develop the industry. More>>

  • Hot summer leaves honey bees lethargic
    • Date: Friday, March 2, 2007. By Blake Nicholson, Associated Press

      Dry, hot weather soured honey production in the nation's top two beekeeping states last year, leading to one of the smallest U.S. honey crops in at least 35 years.
      Aside from California, much of the country's production comes from the Upper Midwest. North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, which produced more than a third of the nation's honey crop last year, all struggled with dry weather. More>>

  • Consumer prices leap more than expected in January
    • Date: Thursday, February 22, 2007. By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

      Recent data showing rising inflation pressures sparked concern among investors about the Federal Reserve's next move.
      Consumer prices increased at a faster pace than expected in January while a gauge of future economic activity posted a tiny increase, raising concerns about inflation and future growth. More>>

  • Tourism rises, but not enough
    • Date: Saturday, February 17, 2007. By The Miami Herald

      A one percent rise in tourism for 2006 was not enough to comfort industry officials, who hoped for a five percent increase.
      The number of visitors grew by 1.2 percent to 84.6 million, officials said Friday. It was the fifth straight year of increases after a five percent drop following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. More>>

  • Argentina's economy: back from a meltdown
    • Date: Monday, February 12, 2007. By Bill Cormier, Associated Press

      Argentina's economy blossoms, but the public isn't celebrating yet.
      Five years after Argentina's economy melted down, triggering food riots, supermarket lootings, devaluation and debt default, María Elena López is still scavenging in the streets for recyclable paper. More>>

  • U.S. economic future in path of 'Perfect Storm,' study says
    • Date: Monday, February 12, 2007. By Gerry Smith, Cox News Service

      Three sociological and economical forces are changing and threatening the nation's economic future, according to a recent report.
      The convergence of inadequate education, changes to the labor force and demographic shifts caused by immigration have created a ''perfect storm'' that threatens the nation's economic future. More>>

  • Mexico's economy shows signs of stress
    • Date: Friday, February 9, 2007. By Laurence Iliff, Dallas Morning News

      Mexico's new president struggles to keep food staple prices down and sustain the economic growth that Mexico has been undergoing for some time.
      Mexico, which has been gobbling up U.S. goods and exporting record amounts to America, may face the end of a charmed period during which it grew rapidly with low inflation and managed to generate budget surpluses. More>>

  • Ethanol use would benefit U.S., region
    • Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2007. By Luis Alberto Moreno, The Miami Herald

      President Bush focused attention on a question that has been largely absent from the debate about ethanol, the most widely used biofuel -- namely, should the United States go it alone on ethanol?
      Until now, most biofuel advocates in the United States have portrayed ethanol as a domestic opportunity: a way to bring jobs and investment to the farm belt, while modestly decreasing dependence on imported fossil fuels. If this tendency prevails, ethanol is likely to end up like sugar, with its unsavory history of government intervention and endless protectionist maneuvering. More>>

  • Brazil, U.S. to forge ethanol alliance
    • Date: Monday, February 5, 2007. By Pablo Bachelet, The Miami Herald

      Washington will roll out a strategic partnership with Brazil to expand ethanol and other biofuels usage in the hemisphere.
      Still, the alliance between the two ethanol giants will be trumpeted as a major achievement by an administration that critics have long accused of allowing U.S.-Latin American relations to fall in a rut by focusing on a narrow range of difficult issues like free trade and drug trafficking. More>>

  • Consumer confidence dips in Florida
    • Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2007. By Niala Boodhoo, The Miami Herald

      The state's slowing housing market weakened consumer confidence despite lower gas prices, but on a national level confidence was up slightly.
      The national January index was the highest in five years, suggesting that consumers will continue to be the engine behind the nation's economic growth in coming months. More>>

  • Prices, wages inch up
    • Date: Friday, January 19, 2007. By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

      While consumer prices rose at the slowest pace since 2003, wages saw their biggest increase since 1997.
      The legislation would grant ''blue cards'' to illegal immigrants who could prove they had worked in agriculture for at least 150 days in the past two years. They must continue working in agriculture for several years before attaining permanent legal status. More>>

  • Farmers planting more corn this year to meet ethanol demand
    • Date: Thursday, January 18, 2007. By John Seewer, Associated Press

      Farmers in the Midwest may be able to make $50 more per acre by going with corn instead soybeans.
      Prices for corn are up to $3.40 a bushel and projected to approach $4, reaching highs not seen in the last decade. At least 6 million to 8 million more acres of corn will be needed to supply ethanol plants. More>>

  • Farm-bill fight takes shape
    • Date: Monday, January 15, 2007. By Libby Quaid, Associated Press

      President Bush and many lawmakers are at odds over federal farm legislation.
      The farm bill -- really a series of federal programs -- gives farmers payments and other help to supplement their incomes, support crop prices and manage supplies. The current farm bill, written in 2002, expires at the end of this year. Congress and the administration disagree mightily on what the new farm bill should look like. More>>

  • Corn farmers look to ethanol for growth, financial security
    • Date: Tuesday, December 26, 2006. By Associated Press

      A number of farmers have jumped at the opportunities in the hope ethanol and other biofuels will secure their future earnings.
      Demand is fed by federal law, which calls for the U.S. to nearly double its use of biofuels to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012. Gov. Jim Doyle has promised almost $80 million in loans, grants and tax incentives to help develop biofuel companies in Wisconsin. More>>

  • Market fall prompts Thais to lift stock rules
    • Date: Wednesday, December 20, 2006. By Michael Casey, Associated Press

      After the market plunged almost 15 percent on Tuesday, the Thai government said it would lift controls on foreign investment in stocks.
      The plunge came after the Bank of Thailand announced late Monday its toughest measures yet to clamp down on speculative inflows that have lifted the Thai currency, the baht, to a nine-year high of 35.09 to the dollar. More>>

  • Gov. Bush throws support behind ethanol initiative
    • Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2006. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Gov. Jeb Bush tips his hat to renewable fuels with the launch of a hemispheric commission to promote ethanol.
      Bush called the project a ''win, win, win, win'' since it would help nudge the United States from oil dependency, preserve the environment, create jobs and help boost partnerships with Latin America. More>>

  • Latin America finds the green in organic
    • Date: Monday, December 18, 2006. By Tyler Bridges, The Miami Herald

      Latin American farmers can thank health-conscious U.S. consumers for a booming export business.
      Farmers in Bolivia are planting as much organic quinoa as possible because of increasing demand in the United States. But quinoa is only one of dozens of organic products that Latin American farmers are increasingly harvesting for export to the United States as they tap into the growing clamor for chemical-free products. More>>

  • Fed holds key rate steady
    • Date: Wednesday, December 13, 2006. By Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press

      During the last Federal Reserve meeting of the year, Fed chairman Ben Bernanke agreed to leave the key rate unchanged at 5.25 percent.
      The Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady, giving holiday shoppers a reason for some cheer. However, the Fed held back an extra gift Wall Street was hoping for -- a signal that rates might actually be lowered soon. More>>

  • Congress extends tax on imported ethanol until 2009
    • Date: Saturday, December 9, 2006. By Carson Walker, Associated Press

      The tariff encourages domestic ethanol production, discourages dependence on foreign energy and keeps other countries from competing with American production.
      Included in legislation passed late Friday and early Saturday by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate was an extension of the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. More>>

  • Fed chair: Slowdown moves expected
    • Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2006. By Michael Doyle, The Miami Herald

      Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made clear Tuesday that policymakers want to see inflation continue to recede, suggesting the Fed probably won't be cutting interest rates anytime soon.
      In his most extensive comments on the economy since the summer, Bernanke struck a largely positive tone that the economy should be able to weather the strains coming from the housing slump and the struggling auto industry. More>>

  • Greenhouse gas case will pit state against state
    • Date: Wednesday, November 29, 2006. By Michael Doyle, The Miami Herald

      The Supreme Court's nine justices will begin hearing oral arguments today over whether the federal government can regulate emissions most experts say contribute to global warming.
      The question is this: Can the federal government regulate the so-called greenhouse gases many experts blame for rising global temperatures? The Bush administration says no. California, Massachusetts, Washington, 15 other states and their allies insist otherwise. The final answer is now up to the court's nine justices. More>>

  • Carl Campbell, 77, Florida professor was 'giant' in the tropical fruit industry
    • Date: Tuesday, November 28, 2006. By Georgia Tasker, The Miami Herald

      Campbell was a professor emeritus of the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center in the Redland and had been a tropical fruit consultant in 22 countries.
      Carl Campbell, who championed mangoes in South Florida for 50 years, died Saturday at his home. He was 77. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 8 at UF's Tropical Research and Education Center, 18950 SW 280th St. in the Redland. More>>

  • U.S.-funded project to stimulate growth in Nicaragua
    • Date: Thursday, November 23, 2006. By Nancy San Martin, The Miami Herald

      Rural businesses in western Nicaragua will receive U.S. aid to reduce poverty through economic growth.
      The remote farm is among several in the western region of the country that will benefit from American dollars as part of the U.S.-sponsored Millennium Challenge Corporation. Nicaragua is set to receive $175 million over five years to help rural businesses with technical assistance and development, promotion of goods and access to regional and international markets. More>>

  • U.S. trade deficit improves despite record with China
    • Date: Friday, November 10, 2006. By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

      The overall deficit declined 6.8 percent to $64.3 billion in September from a record $69 billion in August, thanks in part to a fall in America's foreign oil bill.
      Analysts said the improvements should continue if oil prices do not spike again. But they cautioned against expecting any quick fix in a deficit still on track to set a record for the fifth straight year. More>>

  • World Trade Organization invites Vietnam to join
    • Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2006. By Frank Jordans, Associated Press

      As the 150th member of the WTO, Vietnam would have increased access to foreign markets and the opportunity to take trade grievances to a neutral arbiter.
      Membership in the global trade body will give Vietnam increased access to foreign markets and the opportunity to take trade grievances to a neutral arbiter, strengthening its hand against nations that accuse it of illegally dumping goods on their markets. In return, the country will be required to drop its high tariffs on foreign imports and eliminate subsidies for state-owned companies. More>>

  • U.S. productivity stagnates
    • Date: Friday, November 3, 2006. By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press

      Data showing wage growth is outpacing productivity in the United States sparked more inflation fears on Wall Street.
      The mix of slowing productivity and rising wages was seen as a formula for inflation down the road. It means the Federal Reserve may not cut interest rates anytime soon and may even hike them. More>>

  • Economic migration is seen as key topic at Iberoamerican Summit
    • Date: Friday, November 3, 2006. By Raul Garces, Associated Press

      Spain's King Juan Carlos and presidents or their envoys from Portugal, Andorra and 22 Latin American nations today will open the three-day summit, which will examine migration and economic development.
      The plight of millions of migrants trying to cross new fencing on the U.S. border, flee the Andes to Spain or get work in Argentine textile mills is the pressing issue for participants at the 16th Iberoamerican summit. More>>

  • Economic growth falls to 1.6%
    • Date: Saturday, October 28, 2006. By Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press

      The slowdown in the housing market has dealt a blow to the U.S. economy, but other factors are fending off recession.
      The Commerce Department reported Friday that economic growth from the July-to-September period clocked in at an annual rate of just 1.6 percent, reflecting the deepening housing slump. Investment in home building was cut by the largest amount in 15 years. More>>

  • Fed holds key rate steady
    • Date: Thursday, October 26 2006. By Nell Henderson, Washington Post Service

      The Federal Reserve left key short-term interest rates unchanged at their meeting on Wednesday.
      Economic growth has slowed this year, partly because of the sharp downturn in the housing market. But the policymakers also said they expect the economy to ''expand at a moderate pace'' going forward. More>>

  • Vegetables may help stem mental decline
    • Date: Tuesday, October 24 2006. By Lindsey Tanner, Associated Press

      A newly released study linking vegetables to superior mental acuity supports the old adage to 'eat your veggies.'
      On measures of mental sharpness, older people who ate more than two servings of vegetables daily registered about five years younger at the end of the six-year study than those who ate few or no vegetables. More>>

  • Experts differ on definition of 'developing country'
    • Date: Monday, October 23, 2006. By Frank Jordans, Associated Press

      The United Nations' definition of a 'developing' country is fuzzy at best, ignoring many countries with powerhouse economies.
      The World Trade Organization likewise does not have set rules for who is and who isn't developed. Instead, countries decide for themselves whether to sign up as developing countries -- a classification that brings a number of benefits under WTO rules. More>>

  • Migrants are sending more cash back home
    • Date: Thursday, October 19, 2006. By Pablo Bachelet, The Miami Herald

      A new study shows U.S. remittances to Latin America are booming as the geographic scope of immigrants sending money home broadens beyond the gateway states.
      The bulk of the remittances comes out of such traditional immigrant gateway states as California and Florida, the nation's fourth biggest sender of remittances with $3.1 billion estimated for this year, a 26 percent jump from the last survey in 2004. More>>

  • Why Edmund Phelps' Economic Theory Matters
    • Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2006. By Michael Mandel, BusinessWeek

      The newly minted Nobel Prize winner helped establish the relationship between unemployment and inflation—and what the Fed can and can't do about jobs.
      An important implication of Phelps's work is that the long-term rate of unemployment cannot be changed by monetary or fiscal policy. While the Fed can fight recessions by cutting interest rates, it can't expect to permanently boost employment once the recession is over. More>>

  • American wins Nobel in economics
    • Date: Tuesday, October 10, 2006. By Matt Moore And Karl Ritter, Associated Press

      Edmund S. Phelps changed the way the world thinks about unemployment and inflation.
      The 73-year-old Columbia University professor challenged prevailing views in the 1960s by developing an economic model that has helped corporate and government leaders balance inflation and unemployment in decision-making. More>>

  • Nature's efficient ways to protect crops
    • Date: Monday, October 2, 2006. By Susan Salisbury, The Palm Beach Post

      A division of the state Department of Agriculture is running biocontrol projects in an attempt to protect the state's crops, animals and people from pests and diseases.
      Invasive plant and insect pests cause $138 billion in annual major environmental and economic damage nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because Florida and the Caribbean share a common ecosystem, whatever thrives in the Caribbean's balmy climes will thrive in Florida. More>>

  • Fed expected to hold steady
    • Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2006. By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy News Service

      Figures pointing to a cooling U.S. economy are expected to deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates today.
      If true, that's good news for consumers, since the Fed's increases in the benchmark federal funds rate, an overnight rate that banks charge each other, influence a broad array of bank loans to consumers and businesses. More>>

  • IMF predicts global growth
    • Date: Friday, September 15, 2006. By Gillian Wong, Associated Press

      A cooling housing market could slow down U.S. economic growth, but growth in China could boost an overall global expansion, the IMF says.
      The IMF revised downward its forecast for U.S. economic growth to 2.9 percent for 2007 from an estimate of 3.3 percent in April. This year, the United States is seen expanding 3.4 percent, the fund projected in its semiannual World Economic Outlook. More>>

  • USDA plans to trim Farm Service offices
    • Date: Thursday, August 24, 2006. By Elliott Minor, Associated Press

      The Farm Service Agency is considering closing some of its county offices around the South, raising the ire of some farmers.
      Alabama and Georgia have already submitted closure plans to agriculture officials in Washington, and Virginia is holding required public hearings on the proposed closing of nine of its 50 offices. More>>

  • NAFTA challenges new leader
    • Date: Friday, August 4, 2006. By Kevin G. Hall, Janet Schwartz and Jay Root, McClatchy Newspapers

      Mexico's apparent president-elect faces political pressure to roll back NAFTA to help farmers in Mexico's poor southern states, but he's resisting.
      Leftist presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who's mounted a legal challenge to overturn the election results, promised on the campaign trail to renegotiate NAFTA's agricultural provisions with an eye toward protecting homegrown corn and beans. That helped him carry most of Mexico's south. More>>

  • Credit corruption in Venezuela alleged
    • Date: Thursday, August 3, 2006. By Phil Gunson, The Miami Herald

      Agricultural production in Venezuela has not risen in proportion to the agricultural credits allotted, leading to speculation as to where the money went.
      The almost total absence of checks and balances, critics say, is a major reason for the spread of corruption, which recent polls show is among voters' top concerns ahead of presidential elections scheduled for December. More>>

  • China reports fast growth, but rings inflation alarm
    • Date: Wednesday, July 19, 2006. By Joe Mcdonald, Associated Press

      China's rapid growth is prompting fears of inflation, raising expectations that Beijing might hike interest rates and possibly the value of its currency.
      That would be welcome news for U.S. and European businesses, which have complained that China's yuan is undervalued, that its exports are too inexpensive and that it has been siphoning jobs from the developed world by dumping cheap goods in their markets. More>>

  • A passion for fruit
    • Date: Sunday, June 18, 2006. By Stephanie Rodriguez, The Miami Herald

      Tropical fruits were the big draw at the tropical ag fiesta.
      Organizers said the fiesta is designed to showcase agricultural produce harvested in summer's peak season. It also featured plant sales, gardening tips, lectures, grafting demonstrations, food booths, park tours and children's activities. More>>

  • Ethanol fuels hope for Caribbean sugar
    • Date: Friday, June 2, 2006. By Jonathan M. Katz, Associated Press

      The struggling Caribbean sugar industry stands to benefit from a worldwide increase in the consumption of ethanol.
      Markets for ethanol are growing due to the insatiable demand for fuel and increasing demand for alternative energy sources. But Caribbean sugar is particularly attractive because of the region's preferential trade access to the U.S. market. More>>

  • Florida well placed to lead drive for ethanol
    • Date: Monday, May 15, 2006. By Jeb Bush

      Increasing ethanol use can benefit our environment, strengthen national security and fuel the economic engine of free trade.
      Given the importance of energy to our long-term economic strength, the United States should establish a plan to pump 15 billion gallons of ethanol into the marketplace by 2015. More>>

  • Sales of U.S. food up 20%
    • Date: Friday, April 14, 2006. By Frances Robles, The Miami Herald

      Cuba spent $172 million on U.S. food imports so far this year, a spike in sales over last year, the island's top agriculture import.
      Cuba bought mostly wheat, corn, rice and chicken, despite a rule enacted last year by the Bush administration that requires Havana to pay cash for American products before the goods leave U.S. ports, instead of when they arrive in Cuban ports. More>>

  • Summer drought threat concerns Southeast climatologists
    • Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2006. By Elliott Minor, Associated Press

      The Southeast normally gets most of its rainfall in the fall and winter to recharge lakes and rivers and groundwater supplies, but that didn't happen and the dry conditions have continued into the spring.
      The U.S. Drought Monitor, an online report prepared by several federal agencies, shows normal moisture levels for most of Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama. But it classifies Florida, South Carolina, most of Georgia and smaller portions of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana as unusually dry. More>>

  • Alfalfa Sprouts, Aisle 78
    • Date: Monday, April 10, 2006. By Pallavi Gogoi, BusinessWeek

      Wal-Mart's move into organic foods has small farmers and the health-conscious bristling.
      It's easy to see why the big boys are salivating over the organic market. It has grown 20% annually for five years, compared with 3% to 4% for the industry as a whole. And it's highly profitable. More>>

  • Organics are no Longer a Niche
    • Date: Friday, April 7, 2006. By Vivian Manning-Schaffel, BusinessWeek

      More and more Americans are choosing organic and natural foods, even if they have to spend more. Organic brands are happy to supply them.
      People are concerned about their health, and more and more consumers are turning to food as a way to manage health and wellness, which has led to the increased growth of organic and natural foods. More>>

  • 3-way summit ends without breakthrough
    • Date: Saturday, April 1, 2006. By William Douglas, Knight Ridder News

      President Bush and the leaders of Mexico and Canada failed to make concrete progress on immigration and trade at a two-day summit in Mexico.
      Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper politely disagreed over an immigration issue that's gotten little attention: a U.S. law that will go into effect in January 2008 requiring people entering the United States through Mexico and Canada to carry passports or similar secure documents. More>>

  • Illinois farmers expect to plant less corn, more soybeans
    • Date: Friday, March 31, 2006. By Jim Suhr, Associated Press

      Illinois corn growers expect to plant 700,000 fewer acres this year - the largest acreage decrease of any of the nation's top corn-producing states as farmers apparently shift toward more soybeans.
      Various factors might explain a shift toward soybeans, including increases in nitrogen fertilizer costs and fuel - offshoots of high energy prices - that has helped make corn less competitive than soybeans, at least for now. More>>

  • U.S. calls for better market policies
    • Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2006. By Alexa Olesen, Associated Press

      During an official visit, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez called on China to settle currency disputes and open its markets, ahead of a Senate vote that could impose sanctions.
      U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez on Monday called on China to open its markets to foreign goods and settle currency disputes, warning it could face protectionist sentiment in the United States if its record trade surplus keeps growing. More>>

  • Scientists scramble to find alternatives to banned pesticide
    • Date: Saturday, March 25, 2006. By Elliott Minor, Associated Press

      Although officially prohibited, methyl bromide is still used as a pesticide on a limited basis for some crops.
      University of Georgia scientists are part of an international effort to find an earth-friendly replacement for methyl bromide, a lethal farm fumigant that was supposed to be banned in the United States and 32 other industrialized nations last year after it was found to damage the ozone layer. More>>

  • Climate changes threaten agriculture
    • Date: Thursday, March 23, 2006. By Eliana Raszewski, Bloomberg News

      Odd weather patterns and natural phenomena have Argentine officials worried about global warming.
      The Argentina coast guard was astonished to find icebergs floating along the Atlantic coast. For scientists, the icebergs' migration underscored how global warming is disrupting weather patterns and threatening agriculture. More>>

  • Kids learn farming's purpose for Ag Literacy Day
    • Date: Thursday, March 23, 2006. By David Goodhue, The Miami Herald

      A Redland tree farmer read books to young students and urged them to keep the area's farming tradition alive as part of annual Ag Literacy Day.
      Talking about hemispheric free trade or encroaching development might not mean a whole lot to the youngsters at Kingswood Montessori. But this, they comprehend: ''Pretty soon, most of our squash, beans and tomatoes could come from Costa Rica, Mexico or wherever.'' More>>

  • Wine flowing after storm delays
    • Date: Sunday, March 5, 2006. By David Goodhue, The Miami Herald

      The Schnebly Winery is rebounding after enduring a long hurricane season and even longer delays getting county permits.
      The storm damage was yet another hurdle for a business already facing permitting and legal delays that kept the couple from selling about 2,500 gallons of tropical fruit wine they had made over the last two years. More>>

  • Pesticides are in most U.S. waters
    • Date: Saturday, March 4, 2006. By Associated Press

      Pesticides were found throughout the nation's rivers and streams, government scientists said.
      Though the pesticides were less common in ground water, the U.S. Geological Survey's study of data between 1992 and 2001 found them present in both urban and agricultural areas at concentrations that could affect aquatic life or fish-eating wildlife. More>>

  • Fewer bees, high pollination fees hurt farmers, crops
    • Date: Saturday, March 4, 2006. By Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press

      The number of honeybees and managed beehives is down so much that production of pollinated plants has fallen by about a third in the last two years.
      For farmers dependent on pollination, the current shortage means they must pay higher bee fees that they generally can't recoup or risk a big drop in crop production. More>>

  • Fox says U.S. will need Mexican labor by 2010
    • Date: Thursday, March 2, 2006. By Kevin G. Hall, Knight Ridder News Service

      Mexican President Vicente Fox predicted that border tensions with the U.S. will ease because the retirements of baby boomers will create a demand for workers.
      Mexican President Vicente Fox leaned forward and pointed a finger to make this point: In a few years, he said, the United States may be begging Mexico for the very workers it's now proposing to keep out by building a wall along the border. More>>

  • Let Florida have its own CDC
    • Date: Sunday, February 26, 2006. By Bernie Machen, The University of Florida

      Yet the state soon to become the third largest in the country has no centralized research and response capability.
      The good news is, federal and state officials have established effective control programs for many species introduced on our shores. The bad news is, we are not nearly as well prepared to deal with a more ominous threat already leaving its mark on the Sunshine State. This is the threat of new and emerging diseases. More>>

  • Superfoods: Nutritional heavyweights stand talls
    • Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2006. By Carol Ness, San Francisco Chronicle

      Forget about the low-carb craze. Let's leave that in 2005. So, what's the get-healthy, get-thin thing to do in '06? Take your pick -- blueberries, avocado, spinach or dark chocolate.
      The antioxidants in blueberries are good for you. Avocado's monounsaturated fats are healthier than, say, the saturated fats in butter. A little bit of dark chocolate does contain micronutrients that help lower blood pressure and do other good things for the heart. More>>

  • Farmers urge lawmakers to maintain commodity programs
    • Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2006. By Elliott Minor, Associated Press

      Alabama and Georgia farmers, hurt by spiraling costs for fuel, fertilizer and pesticides, urged U.S. congressmen to preserve commodity programs on crops.
      Farmers were in general agreement that the 2002 Farm Bill had served them well, but they are also concerned that Congress may not be able to treat them as generously in the next farm bill because of the nation's huge budget deficit. More>>

  • In push for new fuels, ethanol gets nudge
    • Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2006. By Kevin G. Hall, Knight Ridder Washington

      A front-runner among alternative fuels, ethanol lags behind in terms of infrastructure.
      High oil prices and subsidies that Congress passed last year, however, are generating new interest in ethanol, which is made from corn and has been around so long that it powered Henry Ford's Model T. More>>

  • Farm tax reform is sought
    • Date: Monday, February 6, 2006. By Samuel P. Nitze and Beth Reinhard, The Miami Herald

      Lawmakers aim to grow revenue by reforming a tax law for farmers that is widely abused by developers.
      Decades ago, the law was designed to protect farmers from being forced out of business by soaring property taxes. But corporate landowners have discovered that by running a few cows on scruffy lots, they can reduce their property taxes by 99 percent, as they await permits and draft construction plans. More>>

  • In the shadow of China's boom
    • Date: Monday, February 6, 2006. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      As China's economy expands, lagging Mexico looks inward and asks how it can compete.
      For the past 25 years, China has delivered average annual economic growth of 9 percent -- a rate unmatched by any country in modern history. Mexico, riding cycles of boom and bust, has barely eked out a 3 percent annual growth rate since 1980. More>>

  • Researcher: Switchgrass as fuel sputters over lack of funding
    • Date: Sunday, February 5, 2006. By Garry Mitchell, Associated Press

      In his call for greater use of alternative fuels, President Bush mentioned switchgrass as a possible source in the coming decades, but the idea may need a jump-start.
      A switchgrass researcher at Auburn University said federal policy-makers have delayed its commercial use by waiting for private industry to fund it. More>>

  • Permit to fill wetlands near Glades is challenged
    • Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2006. By Curtis Morgan, The Miami Herald

      Saying the permit doesn't match the project, environmentalists sued a federal agency in an effort to halt the filling of wetlands where a mega-development is planned near the Everglades.
      Environmentalists filed suit against federal regulators on Tuesday, charging they illegally reinstated a permit for a land owner to fill more than 500 acres of wetlands where a controversial development is envisioned at the edge of the Everglades. More>>

  • U.S. dairy farmers build bridges to their Mexican workers
    • Date: Monday, January 30, 2006. By Cara Anna, Associated Press

      Hispanics make up about 40 percent of all U.S. agricultural employees based on 2004 census figures.
      Baker and other farmers didn't wait for Congress to take up immigration reform this month -- they crossed the border to understand the issue by visiting the far-flung homes of their employees. More>>

  • Insect infestation: Tiny Asian scale bugs, nearly impossible to eradicate, are killing off Sago trees
    • Date: Sunday, January 29, 2006. By Travis Reed, Associated Press

      The bugs are from southeast Asia, and believed to have been introduced to the United States through Miami ports in the mid-1990s.
      They have no natural predator here, can spread in the wind and hide in plant roots -- making quarantine particularly difficult and costly. More>>

  • When organics mean business
    • Date: Thursday, January 26, 2006. By Ellen Kanner, The Miami Herald

      According to the magazine, organic sales have gone up 20 percent annually over the past decade, topping $15 billion in 2004.
      It's hard enough for consumers to know what truly qualifies as organic without diluting what organic means (''all-natural'' doesn't count -- look for products with the USDA Organic label). To be certified organic, food must be produced without genetic tinkering, irradiation, antibiotics, hormones, toxic pesticides and fertilizers. More>>

  • Dairy farmers to learn about profit potential from manure
    • Date: Saturday, January 21, 2006. By John Hartzell, Associated Press

      When dairy farmer Gary Boyke looks out at the manure from his herd, he sees the prospect of profits rather than waste, odors and water pollution.
      Boyke, who has 1,300 cows on his Vir-Clar Farm near Fond du Lac, said he gets two to three times the energy he needs with a digester, selling it all to Madison-based utility Alliant Energy and then buying back what he needs. He said the device produces enough power to serve 330 homes. More>>

  • China's trade surplus soars to $101.9 billion in 2005
    • Date: Thursday, January 12, 2006. By Elaine Kurtenbach, Associated Press

      China's trade surplus with the U.S. tripled in 2005, angering U.S. officials, who claim that the undervalued yuan must be allowed to rise.
      With total global trade of $1.42 trillion, China is now the world's third-biggest trading nation, the report said. China announced earlier that it had overtaken Japan in terms of merchandise trade and remained behind the United States and Germany. More>>

  • Lake's polluted water trial begins
    • Date: Tuesday, January 10, 2006. By Curt Anderson, Associated Press

      A lawsuit claiming state water managers have been pumping polluted water into Lake Okeechobee for decades went to trial Monday.
      The lawsuit contends that the South Florida Water Management District should be forced to get federal permits for the pumping under the federal Clean Water Act, which could force the district to cleanse the polluted water or divert it elsewhere. More>>

  • Were last year's soybean rust warnings warranted?
    • Date: Friday, January 6, 2006. By Jim Paul, Associated Press

      Government and industry spent millions of dollars last winter to prepare farmers for the scourge of soybean rust, a yield-robbing fungus that could cost them thousands of extra dollars to control.
      The disease is caused by spores that grow after they land on soybean leaves or other host plants, such as kudzu, a leafy vine that is prevalent in the South. Unless plants are sprayed with fungicide soon after infection, the disease will take over quickly and cause leaves to drop off, which leads to fewer bean pods and fewer beans per pod. More>>

  • Mini cows are an efficient alternative
    • Date: Thursday, January 5, 2006. By Alex Dominguez, Associated Press

      New breeds of pint-size heifers and bulls are making it easier for small farmers to raise cattle for milk, meat or just fun.
      The reasons are many, they say. You don't need the back 40 acres to raise these breeds; the back four will do. Mini cattle eat about a third as much as a full-sized steer, are less destructive of pasture land and fencing, and are easier to handle. More>>

  • Younger Hmong abandoning their agricultural traditions
    • Date: Thursday, December 29, 2005. By Daisy Nguyen, Associated Press

      One by one, the kids are leaving the family business, going to college to pursue more lucrative professions in pharmaceuticals and engineering.
      While no one is tallying how many younger Hmong are abandoning tradition, leaders in the immigrant community and agriculture industry observers say the trend is striking. More>>

  • U.S. sidestepping ban against pesticide
    • Date: Monday, November 28, 2005. By Rita Beamish, Associated Press

      The United States signed a treaty barring the use of methyl bromide, but it is so effective that its widespread use continues.
      Other nations watch as the United States keeps permitting wide use of methyl bromide for tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, Christmas trees and other crops, even though it signed an international treaty banning all but the most critical uses by 2005. More>>

  • Today, give thanks for Miami-Dade growers
    • Date: Thursday, November 24, 2005. By Katie A. Edwards, The Dade County Farm Bureau

      Our family tradition is to tell of what you are most thankful for this year. I've put some thought into it, and I know exactly what I'm going to say.
      I'm thankful for Miami-Dade's vegetable farmers for providing the nation's winter vegetables. Have you ever stopped to think about what we would do without them? We would be reliant on other countries for the corn, beans, tomatoes, squash and eggplant that we sit down to enjoy today. Picture a Thanksgiving dinner with no beans or squash!. More>>

  • Organic industry asks Congress to reject tougher standards set by appeals court
    • Date: Tuesday, October 25, 2005. By Libby Quaid, Associated Press

      Organic food is a multibillion-dollar industry with growing pains it wants Congress to help soothe.
      At issue is whether small amounts of non-organic ingredients - vitamins, spices, citric acid, even carbonation - should be allowed in food bearing the "USDA Organic" seal. An appeals court decided earlier this year that none of those things belongs in food labeled as organic. More>>

  • No rush to up taxes on rent-a-cows
    • Date: Thursday, October 20, 2005. By Beth Reinhard, The Miami Herald

      Proposed reforms to a widely abused Florida law meant to protect agriculture are given a cool reception in Tallahassee.
      Property appraisers urged state senators on the agriculture committee to strengthen the law so they could ensure that tax relief goes to genuine farmers. More>>

  • Officials scrap plans to close hundreds of local farm offices
    • Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2005. By Libby Quaid, Associated Press

      The Agriculture Department will abandon plans to close more than 700 local Farm Service Agency offices across the country because of widespread opposition in Congress, an official said Tuesday.
      The plan was to close 713 of the 2,351 FSA offices, which are located in rural counties and connect farmers to government programs that provide payments and loans. More>>

  • Brazilian farmers turn away from tilling
    • Date: Monday, October 17, 2005. By Paulo Prada, The Miami Herald

      Conservation tillage is helping Brazil conquer the world market. They copied it from the U.S., but did it bigger and better.
      The technique spread just as advances in plant genetics were allowing tropical growers to cultivate crops, like soybeans, that once grew only in temperate climates. And a drop in the value of the real, Brazil's currency, over the past decade made exports cheaper. Together, the factors made Brazil the world's largest exporter of sugar, beef and orange juice, and the second largest exporter of soybeans. More>>

  • Mexican chili farmers feel sting of low prices
    • Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2005. By Sean Mattson, San Antonio Express-News

      Between 50 percent and 80 percent of the dried peppers now sold in Mexico are imported.
      Gonzalez, 65, is among the thousands of farmers who have stopped producing dried peppers in recent years as one of this nation's most emblematic agricultural traditions has faltered. More>>

  • The yuan grows up
    • Date: Friday, August 5, 2005. By Brian Bremner, BusinessWeek

      Untethered from the dollar, it could become a major world currency.
      Here's why China's move is a step toward the yuan becoming a major world currency. First, People's Bank now can act like a central bank, not just a foreign outpost of the U.S. Federal Reserve. More>>

  • FARM SCENE: More farmers are using computers, but pace slowing
    • Date: Monday, August 1, 2005. By Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press

      American farmers are buying computers and using them for business, but at a much slower pace than they did just two years ago, a new federal study shows.
      The rate for both computer ownership and business usage increased just 1 percent from 2003 to 2005, according to a survey conducted every two years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More>>

  • China implements new rules for yuan
    • Date: Friday, July 22, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      China announced that it has adopted a new system to value the yuan after pegging it to the U.S. dollar for 10 years.
      China's announcement, which has been anticipated and debated by economists and government leaders for months, is the first time in a decade that China has raised the value of its currency, also known as the renminbi, effectively making the yuan and exports more expensive against the U.S. dollar. More>>

  • Trade fight over mango's origins could get juicy
    • Date: Thursday, June 16, 2005. By Associated Press

      The Manila mango originally came from the Philippines, but Mexican growers, who say they improved on it, want to restrict the name to those grown in Mexico.
      Mexico wants to officially adopt the Manila mango. Growers there are seeking a so-called domain of origin for the Manila mango. The process involves various government bodies and the World Trade Organization. More>>

  • Farmers plan to reduce wheat and canola acreage
    • Date: Friday, April 22, 2005. By Christopher Donville and Alexandre Deslongchamps, Bloomberg News

      According to a government survey, Canadian growers will reduce the planting of the grains because of rising fertilizer and fuel costs and depressed prices.
      Canadian farmers, the world's thirdlargest wheat exporters, said they plan to reduce planting of the grain this year, a government survey showed. Canola acreage may also fall. More>>

  • Fish-farm advocates finally hook president
    • Date: Monday, April 4, 2005. By Cain Burdeau, Associated Press

      After years of prodding by marine biologists, the Bush administration has backed a plan for turning idle Gulf of Mexico oil platforms into fish farms.
      Thousands of oil and natural gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico could be converted into deep-sea fish farms raising red snapper, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna and flounder, under a plan backed by the Bush administration. More>>

  • Brazil says cotton win will help gain concessions in WTO talks
    • Date: Thursday, March 10, 2005. By Mark Darjem, Bloomberg News

      Brazil aims to extract deeper and faster commitments from the United States and Europe to cut farm subsidies in global trade negotiations.
      Brazil will leverage last week's victorious challenge of U.S. cotton subsidies to extract deeper and faster commitments from the United States and Europe to cut farm aid in global trade negotiations, Brazil's attorney in the case said. More>>

  • Cotton subsidies shunned by WTO
    • Date: Friday, March 4, 2005. By Jonathan Fowler, The Associated Press

      A decision by the World Trade Organization condemning U.S. cotton subsidies was upheld, disappointing U.S. farmers.
      The World Trade Organization upheld a ruling on Tuesday condemning government help for cotton producers in the United States, saying that many U.S. programs include illegal export subsidies or domestic payments that are higher than permitted by WTO rules. More>>

  • Black farmers push rights case
    • Date: Monday, February 28, 2005. By The Associated Press

      Claiming discrimination in the issuance of government loans, black farmers are seeking a settlement from Congress.
      Thousands of black farmers who say they have been left out of a landmark civil rights case are turning to Congress as their last hope to receive compensation for years of being denied loans by the government. More>>

  • China's New Farm Subsidies
    • Date: Monday, February 28, 2005. By Fred Gale, Bryan Lohmar, and Francis Tuan, Economic Research Service/USDA

      In 2004, China entered a new era in its approach to agricultural policy, as it began to subsidize rather than tax agriculture.
      China introduced direct subsidies to farmers, began to phase out its centuries-old agricultural tax, subsidized seed and machinery purchases, and increased spending on rural infrastructure. More>>

  • Brazil to ask for probe of soybean subsidies
    • Date: Wednesday, February 16, 2005. By Katia Cortes and Michael Smith, Bloomberg News

      Brazil, the world's secondlargest soybean exporter, plans to ask the World Trade Organization to investigate the legality of U.S. subsidies for soybean farmers .
      The United States spent $11 billion in subsidies last year to guarantee a minimum price for crops including soybeans, making it difficult for Brazilian farmers to compete. More>>

  • Ag secretary says subsidies need limits
    • Date: Thursday, February 10, 2005. By Libby Quaid, The Associated Press

      Agriculture Department figures indicate 8 percent of producers collect 78 percent of the subsidies.
      Anticipating a fight in Congress over President Bush's proposed farm cuts, new Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Thursday that large operations are reaping too big a share of government subsidies. More>>

  • China business helps, challenges S. Fla.
    • Date: Monday, February 07, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      Consumers and companies throughout South Florida are feeling the China effect.
      In a metropolitan area intensely focused on Latin American and the Caribbean, the explosive growth of trade and business ties with China is matched only by the growing dependence on Chinese imports. More>>

  • Rise of China changing way S. Florida, U.S. live and work
    • Date: Monday, February 07, 2005. By Jane Bussey, The Miami Herald

      The soaring U.S. trade with China is a boon to consumers and a mixture of competition and opportunity for U.S. and South Florida businesses.
      Whether you are a consumer embracing cheap Chinese goods, an executive rushing to cash in on the Chinese boom, or a domestic manufacturer fighting Chinese competition, it is becoming clear that the country of 1.3 billion people is changing the rules of global commerce, and with them the American way of life. More>>

  • Better treatment in Canada
    • Date: Monday, October 25, 2004. By Celeste Mackenzie, The Miami Herald

      Canada gives migrant farmers legal status and medical coverage
      While Central Americans have long worked the fields in the United States, Guatamalan labor is a relatively new development for Canada.  This year about 300 Guatemala farm laborers are toiling in Canadian fields, along with thousands of Mexican and Caribbean workers.  Many of these laborers spend more time in Canada than at home.  Over time, unions, church groups, non-government organizations, and acadamics have documented extended work periods with no days off, poor housing conditions, lack of medical attention and other allegations of abuse.  More>>

  • Coffee
  • S. Fla. to get first coffee plantation
    • Date: Monday, March 28, 2005. By Nikki Waller, The Miami Herald

      Florida coffee drinkers may soon wake up to a Broward-grown brew.
      J.C. Nadeau, as if an alchemist-turned-coffee-roaster, is betting his locally grown coffee will be tastier and more pure than pricier blends. The Coconut Creek resident is importing Colombian coffee plants that are customized for Florida's unique soil. More>>

  • Coffee producers: Is it truly 'Fair Trade'?
    • Date: Monday, March 28, 2005. By Celeste Mackenzie, The Miami Herald

      Central American coffee producing co-ops are better paid under fair traid, but prices could be better.
      Eventually, North America consumers will sip the brew made from the family's coffee beans, which are both ''Fair Trade'' certified and certified organic. They are sold by the local cooperative, La Voz, to roasters such as Vermont's Green Mountain. More>>

  • Fair Trade price certification spurs debate
    • Date: Monday, March 28, 2005. By Celeste Mackenzie, The Miami Herald

      Fair trade certifiers help set universal prices for products. But critics say its one-size-fits-all price doesn't take into account varying production costs throughout the world.
      Fair Trade certification began in the 1990s to try to address the low prices small-scale farmers received. It now represents about 3 percent of the market in Europe and somewhat less in the United States. More>>


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