U.S. animal disease lab carries risks, report says

A planned U.S. laboratory aimed at studying dangerous foreign animal diseases and preventing their spread to American cattle, hogs and other livestock carries the risk of spreading highly contagious pathogens, the National Research Council said on Monday.

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From corn to nuts, Optima plans listed farmland REIT

U.S. investment adviser Optima Fund Management is picking up new U.S. farm properties at a brisk pace as it prepares to take public its farmland real estate investment trust, a top Optima executive said Tuesday.

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Agriculture, farmland attracting “impact investors”

Investors eyeing agriculture in Africa, Latin America and other global markets are increasingly merging their pursuit of profits with a philanthropic zeal that promoters say will pay benefits over the long term. So-called “impact investing” is catching on with a range of private equity groups, financial services firms, venture capital funds and other moneyed players.

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Fears over farmland “bubble” seen unfounded

Fears that rising farmland values may be building toward a bubble which could burst and deal a blow to the still-shaky U.S. economy are overblown, according to a leading U.S. farmland investor.

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Monsanto affirms guidance, cites good crop data

Monsanto Co. MON.N said on Monday its newly harvested U.S. corn and soybean products were showing good yield performance, and the company reaffirmed guidance on earnings per share, cash flow, and growth.

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Monsanto sees “right time” for GMO wheat

Monsanto Co could start field testing genetically modified wheat within one to two years, but remains cautious about future commercialization, according to one of the company’s top wheat technology executives. Six years after shelving an earlier biotech wheat product in the face of stiff market resistance, Monsanto still sees a need for circumspection, but believes building acceptance and a need for increased food production makes the wheat seed market potentially lucrative over the long term.

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Agriculture groups say food productivity lagging

Farmers around the world must ramp up food production dramatically to feed a rapidly expanding global population, a coalition of agricultural groups said in a report on Wednesday. Meeting the needs of a global population estimated to jump roughly 50 percent to 9.2 billion by 2050, will require public and private investments in “science and technology” to boost agricultural productivity, the groups said.

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Monsanto posts loss but shares rise as sales climb

Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, posted a deeper quarterly loss than Wall Street had expected, and warned next year’s results may also be weak after customer complaints prompted a revamping of products and pricing levels. The company’s shares, which had fallen nearly 10 percent last week after disappointing preliminary harvest results from a new seed corn, rose on Wednesday as executives predicted the new strategy would win back corn and soybean customers.

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Court critical of USDA planting push for GMO beets

A federal court has ruled that U.S. agricultural regulators again appear to have acted illegally in allowing planting of a biotech sugar beet crop tied to Monsanto Co. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White for the Northern District of California said in his ruling Tuesday that a group of consumers and environmentalists were likely to prevail on their complaints that the U.S. Agriculture Department was trying to circumvent the law by allowing limited continued planting of seed stock for a biotech beet crop without conducting a required environmental review.

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Monsanto shares fall as new corn seed disappoints

Shares in Monsanto Co fell sharply on Tuesday amid mounting reports about disappointing harvest results of the company’s new highly touted corn seed. Shares were off more than 9 percent in afternoon trading at $48.01, more than 44 percent off the year high of $87.06 seen in January. The losses added to a drop of 4 percent on Monday and marked Monsanto shares as one of the largest decliners by percentage on Tuesday.

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