Full list: Agriculture in the News

VT Digger: In reversal, state tightens rules on farmers to protect lake

Feb. 3, 2016
y Mike Polhamus
Full Article

Small farmers will face additional scrutiny of their operations based on new rules released Wednesday for protecting the Missisquoi Bay’s watershed.

Chuck Ross, the secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, issued a revised decision requiring farmers to follow what are known as best management practices.

Agency officials say the rules will force farmers in the Missisquoi Bay watershed to better manage manure to prevent runoff that has been tied to phosphorus pollution and toxic blue-green algae blooms in Lake Champlain.

Ross’ new decision follows years of legal action initiated by the Conservation Law Foundation.

In a previous decision, the secretary refused to impose best management practices on Missisquoi Bay farms. At the time, the agency didn’t have the personnel to help farms implement the new standards.

A new water quality law passed last year, Act 64, gave the agency enough resources to monitor and inspect farms.

The imposition of best management practices won’t put an onerous financial burden on farmers, according to Jim Leland, the director of agriculture resource management at the agency. That’s because the new rules could save money, and costs incurred by farmers will be subsidized, Leland said.

“Most things we’re talking about will be practical and cost-effective to implement,” Leland said. “It’s more about management than about installing a Cadillac system.”

The decision requires farmers to adopt new standards for manure storage and management, silage storage, and cover cropping, Leland said.

Many of these practices will save farmers money in the long run, Leland said, and upfront investments will be covered by cost-sharing programs already in place.

“If farmers engage with the process of figuring out what to do … they might find it’s not as expensive or all-encompassing as they think that it is,” he said.

Chris Kilian, director of the Conservation Law Foundation in Vermont, said the decision from the Agency of Agriculture gives the conventional dairy industry 10 years to stop polluting Lake Champlain.

“Agriculture cannot be defined as sustainable if it is destroying Lake Champlain and threatening people’s health, so we need to find a different model,” Kilian said.

Water quality advocates hailed the decision as an important step but said more urgent action is required.

“We’re pleased to see the secretary recognizes the condition of the Missisquoi River watershed,” said James Ehlers, executive director of Lake Champlain International. “But more aggressive measures are necessary to protect the public’s interest in healthy water.”

“We would expect that the agency will abide by the timeline, because further delay is not acceptable,” Ehlers said. “We think that 10 years is very generous, given the current plight of property owners, and the recreational and other interests of the public that are being negatively impacted by industrial agriculture practices.”

Much of the burden falls on small farmers, although what precisely defines a small farm has yet to be determined, Leland said. The new rules are part of a suite of regulations in a separate agency effort that changes what are called accepted agricultural practices to required agricultural practices.

Both changes — those involving required practices and those requiring best management practices — mainly concern farms with between five and 199 cows. The roughly 170 medium- and large-sized farms in the state already follow both sets of practices, Leland said.

These practices will control the runoff of the nutrient phosphorus, which is a component of manure and other fertilizers, from farmland into Vermont’s waters. Excess phosphorus in Lake Champlain has caused an outbreak of toxic blue-green algae, to a degree that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is writing rules that will impose further restrictions on pollution from Vermont’s landscape.

The new decision on best management practices will require Vermont’s Agriculture Agency to inspect for conformity within the next six years all farms that ship milk, and within the next 10 years all farms with livestock, Leland said.

These regulatory changes resulted from last year’s water quality protection law, Act 64. It mandated agricultural practices meant to protect water quality. That act also led Ross to revise the earlier decision against requiring best management practices in Missisquoi Bay’s watershed, Leland said.

The new decision stands as a litmus test for farmers and for the agency to demonstrate that it can operate in a way that doesn’t pollute Lake Champlain, Kilian said.

VPR Cafe: Vermont Farmers Collaborate To Make Yogurt

Jan 23, 2016
Full Article & Audio

Nate and Jessie Rogers had a cow problem. The owners of Rogers Farmstead in Berlin brought the cows onto their farm to help keep the land healthy, but they didn’t know what to do with all the milk.

The couple decided to start making yogurt, however to make enough yogurt to sell on a retail level they needed more space. That’s when a fellow farmer, Marisa Mauro, gave them a hand.

Mauro bought Bragg Farm in Fayston and started Ploughgate Creamery. She began making butter and building the infrastructure for the farm. Since she had extra space, Mauro agreed to let the Rogeres make their yogurt at Ploughgate Creamery.

This kind of partnership is fairly common across Vermont, said Melissa Pasanen, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press.

VT Digger: Vermont at five year mark implementing Farm to Plate food system plan

News Release — Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Jan. 20, 2016

2015 Farm to Plate Annual Report reviews progress and challenges facing Vermont’s food system from economic, social and environmental perspectives

Montpelier, VT – Increases in local food consumption, jobs, and overall economic activity in the farm and food sector over the past five years are highlighted in the 2015 Farm to Plate Annual Report, released today by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. 2016 marks the halfway point of the release of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan and the Farm to Plate Network is entering its 5th year implementing Vermont’s food system plan. A presentation to the House and Senate Agriculture Committees this morning was immediately followed by a press conference at the Statehouse.

“We could not be more pleased with the 5,300 new jobs that have been created and the overall positive impact Farm to Plate is having on the state’s economy, which has grown to over $10 billion in annual sales. When we passed the Farm to Plate Investment Program legislation in 2009 which called for increasing economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improving access to healthy local food for all Vermonters, we had no idea how much change might be possible. Because of the impressive and far reaching efforts of the Farm to Plate Network, this initiative has far exceeded our expectations. We’ve learned so much about how the food system works, how many types of jobs it encompasses, and how many opportunities there are for young people. Farm to Plate has also helped our Committee pass more informed policy and smarter investments in our food system,” says Representative Carolyn Partridge (Windham) and House Agriculture & Forest Products Committee Chair.

The 2015 Farm to Plate Annual Report highlights both statewide and regional progress made to reach the Farm to Plate goals over the past five years as well as what is needed to reach the goals set forth in the Vermont’s food system plan by 2020. Regional highlights from each Vermont County are included in the annual report.


At no other time in Vermont’s history has food system activity been more coordinated and more of an economic driver in Vermont. Farm to Plate has firmly established that food system development is fundamental to Vermont’s economy. Vermont generates the highest sales from agricultural production ($776 million) in New England and Vermont maple syrup, cheese, ice cream, and beer are in high demand nationally. Vermont has witnessed sustained growth in food system sales, jobs, and businesses, and increases in value added food manufacturing, financing opportunities, and supply chain connections.

Food system gross sales are up 32% from $7.6 billion (2007) to $10 billion (2012) [in 2014 dollars].
Net value added food manufacturing increased 58% ($359 million) from 2004 – 2013 and now totals nearly $1 billion (half of which are dairy related products).
5,387 new food system jobs were added in Vermont from 2009 – 2014; jobs in the food system now total 63,398.


Consumer preferences have decisively moved away from artificial ingredients and highly processed food in favor of healthy, local food—and many Vermont businesses are taking advantage of this trend. At the same time, the effects of the Great Recession persist: 10.2% of Vermont households were food insecure at the start of the recession compared to 12.6% today—about 33,000 households.

Local food purchases have increased by $189 million between 2010 and 2014 (from 5% to 6.9% of total food purchases in the state); Vermonters spend $3 billion on food annually.
The percentage of overweight (37.2%) and obese (24.7%) adult Vermonters has increased over the past 20 years—in 1995 33% were overweight and 14.6% were obese.


Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), the Water Quality Law (Act 64), and the Renewable Energy Law (Act 56) require paradigm shifts in nutrient management, water quality practices, and renewable energy generation that change the way resources are managed and business is conducted. Many food system organizations in the Farm to Plate Network are already engaged in this groundbreaking work in a cooperative fashion (e.g., through the Farm to Plate Food Cycle Coalition, Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) staff working to connect with food rescue efforts being expanded by the Vermont Food Bank).

Food diversion and food rescue (surplus food) due to the implementation of Act 148 has increased above ANR estimates. According to the Vermont Foodbank, the number of food rescue pounds picked up increased by 30% over the past year.
The number of impaired river and stream miles due to agriculture has decreased by 23.6% between 2008 and 2014.
Farm and food system businesses are major sources of renewable electricity generation in Vermont with a total installed capacity of 41.6 MW across 184 sites around the state (33.4% coming from solar, 27.3% from landfill methane, 24.9% from wind, and 14.14% from anaerobic digesters like the one at VT Tech).


Economically speaking, food system activities going forward need to focus more closely on improving farm viability, expanding non-dairy food production, strengthening Vermont’s remaining dairy economy, and increasing the balance and diversity of food system companies (e.g., 2% of farms accounted for 37% of sales in 2012; Keurig Green Mountain alone accounts for a major percent of food manufacturing sales).

Socially, supporting the continued evolution of the charitable food system and increasing local food availability where the majority of people shop are critical for Vermont to meet Farm to Plate goals. Connecting the food and health care systems are also needed in order to address health trends (e.g., obesity) that are moving in the wrong direction.

From an environmental perspective in the coming years, protecting and incentivizing the sustainability of natural systems will be key—especially around healthy soils and clean water—as Vermonters prepare for, mitigate against, and adapt to the challenges presented by climate change.

“The next five years will focus even more attention on increasing overall agricultural production and encouraging proactive succession planning so that Vermont’s next generation of farmers can keep land in production. We’ll also be working to expand the number and types of markets selling local food such as hospitals, colleges, and grocery stores. And we’ll be launching a grassroots consumer marketing campaign to encourage Vermonters to purchase more locally made products, helping to keep our food dollars local,” said Erica Campbell, the Farm to Plate Network Director. “It will also be important to focus our attention on strengthening the alignment, coordination, and relationships between Network organizations within different Vermont regions and also across county lines. While we’ve already accomplished a lot in five years, there’s still more to be done.”


Farm to Plate is Vermont’s food system plan to meet the goals of the legislation passed in 2009 calling for increased economic development and jobs in the farm and food sector and improved access to healthy local food for all Vermonters. The Farm to Plate food system plan was released five years ago and the Farm to Plate Network (diverse group of over 350 stakeholders from the private sector, non-profit organizations, institutions, and government agencies) is entering its fifth year implementing the plan. The Farm to Plate Network is coordinated by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, a non-profit organization located in Montpelier.

The Farm to Plate Strategic Plan, all work connected to the Farm to Plate Network, and the complete data analysis and visualization of how Vermont is doing reaching the 25 goals of Vermont’s food system plan are located at www.vtfarmtoplate.com. The website also hosts a statewide newsfeed of Vermont farm and food news and the Vermont Food Atlas – a searchable database of over 7,000 farm and food sector people, places, and resources in Vermont’s farm and food sector. Follow on Twitter @VTFarm2Plate.

Agri-Pulse: Sanders, five Dem colleagues question GMA on SmartLabel initiative

By Stephen Davies
Full Article

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22, 2016 – Six senators have asked the Grocery Manufacturers Association to explain how shoppers without smartphones will be able to use the so-called SmartLabel initiative GMA has proposed to get information about the food they’re buying.

Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy from Connecticut, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Jon Tester of Montana, along with Independent Bernie Sanders, the Vermonter who’s running for president as a Democrat, sent a letter on Thursday with the request to GMA President and CEO Pamela Bailey. They asked for a response by Feb. 17.

GMA said it’s working on a response.

The letter comes as groups representing different views on GMO labeling are talking about a compromise in meetings hosted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has backed something similar to the SmartLabel. The progress of the negotiations, if they can be called that, has thus far been as secretive as is possible in Washington, D.C.

In their letter, the senators said many consumers won’t be able to use the plan (which would be voluntary on the part of manufacturers) either because they don’t have smartphones or because their smartphones aren’t properly equipped to scan the barcode or QR code.

“According to the Pew Research Center, only 68 percent of American adults own a smartphone – many of which do not necessarily subscribe to mobile broadband,” the senators said. “How will GMA ensure that consumers who don’t have smartphones – typically lower income, less educated, or elderly individuals – are able to access important food labeling information while they are shopping in the grocery store aisles? How will GMA make these shoppers aware of the SmartLabel initiative? How will you measure the efficacy or consumer use of this initiative and will such reporting be made publicly available?”

The lawmakers also raised privacy concerns. Many consumers “are worried about how this initiative will affect their privacy. What promises will manufacturers participating in the SmartLabel initiative make to consumers to assure their privacy and that their information will not be used or sold?”

“Lastly, we are concerned that the SmartLabel initiative faces many technical hurdles that will affect consumer access to critical information that they will not have access to by simply reading a product’s label,” they said. “Different smartphone models vary greatly in their ability to quickly and easily scan QR codes.”

In a Dec. 2 press release, when GMA announced the initiative, the association said, “A number of retailers have said that they can help shoppers without smartphones via their customer service desk in stores. In addition, both online and brick and mortar stores are exploring ways to make SmartLabel more accessible to their customers such as by posting the SmartLabel link on their page to allow access in one click or through customer service desks.”

A few days later, Jim Flannery, GMA’s senior executive vice president for operations and industry collaboration, wrote, “If I have no access to the Internet, I’ll bet the store where I’m shopping does or can access the information.

VAAFM News Release: Farmers and public feedback will shape Agency of Ag’s new draft ‘Required Ag Practices’

Jan. 21, 2016
News Release — Vermont Department of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Ryan Patch
Ag Development Coordinator, Ag Resource Management

Over the past four months, Vermont’s Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (VAAFM) has embarked on an extensive outreach effort to solicit feedback on the new draft Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs). The response from the farming community and the public-at-large has been significant. Nearly 800 people attended more than 30 meetings across the state to voice their opinions, and 169 Vermonters submitted written comments. The Agency is now in the process of consolidating this feedback and re-drafting the RAPs to reflect the community’s input.

The RAPs are an updated version of the Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAPs), the laws which regulate farms in order to protect water quality, re-written to a higher level of performance. As part of Act 64—the Clean Water Act—signed into law in July 2015, the Agency of Agriculture was tasked with updating these regulations to further reduce the impact of agriculture on water quality across the state. The Agency sought public input on its first draft of the new regulations, to ensure the draft RAPs reflected the realities of farming and the legislative intent of Act 64.

“The feedback we received over the past few months is now being incorporated into a second draft, which we will present to the legislature and the public in February,” according to Jim Leland, VAAFM’s Director of Ag Resource Management. “From February to March, we will continue to be open for informal public comment at our AGR.RAP@vermont.gov e-mail address. We will file a final draft of the RAPs with the Secretary of State in mid-March, which will kick off the formal rulemaking process.”

The public will then have the opportunity to comment formally and attend public meetings during this process. Act 64 specifies that the RAPs will be finalized by rule before July 1, 2016.

“We are very pleased to have received so much constructive feedback,” said Vermont’s Ag Secretary, Chuck Ross. “This is a clear indication that Vermonters, particularly farmers, care very deeply about water quality and getting this right. When the RAPs are eventually finalized and signed into law, I know they will be stronger and more effective, as a result of all the input we received.”

A wide range of Vermonters contributed feedback, including lakefront camp owners, environmentalists, and farmers. Based on the sign-in sheets, 54% of the attendees at the public meetings were farmers. Respondents shared a wide range of opinions on issues ranging from the definition of “small farms” to the standards associated with manure spreading and stacking, to the proposed requirements for cover cropping on fields subject to flooding.

“We are currently making significant changes to the draft, based on the feedback we’ve received,” said Leland. “For instance, we now know we need to make changes to the small farm definition, and revise the proposed standards around manure application and stacking – among other changes. We look forward to finalizing the second draft, and sharing it next month.”

In addition to sharing the second draft of the RAPs, VAAFM will make available all written public comments received before Jan 1, 2016. The Agency will simultaneously publish an abridged responsiveness summary, outlining major themes of public comments. The anticipated delivery date for the second draft of the RAPs was originally scheduled for mid-January, but due to the vast volume of feedback, the deadline has been extended. The second draft of the RAPs, the responsiveness summary, and the public comments will be available to the public on the Agency’s website in early February.

For more information about the RAPs, and the Agency’s efforts to implement Act 64, visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/water-quality/regulations/rap

Questions and comment about the RAPs can be directed to AGR.RAP@Vermont.gov

“Feeling The Bern” with Locally-Made Hot Sauce at the Skinny Pancake

By Alex Epstein
Full Article
Burlington, VT – For a restaurant that sources over 70% of its ingredients locally, according to their latest local food audit, perhaps it’s no surprise the Skinny Pancake recently started making their own locally-sourced hot sauce to go alongside their mouth-watering crêpes, paninis, sides, and more…

​With a combination of local habañero, anaheim, hungarian, and wax peppers, plus an homage paid to former Burlington mayor and current Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, the Skinny Pancake’s Curtis Garrow has created a community-building, crowd-pleasing hot sauce that will leave you “feeling the Bern” no matter your political views.

The Birth of “Bern Baby Bern”

Call it an “aha” moment, call it eureka, but when Curtis Garrow stared down at the list of produce offerings in an e-mail sent from Pomykala Farm while ordering produce for the Skinny just a few weeks ago, he knew a house-made, locally-sourced hot sauce simply had to happen.
The Skinny Pancake is renowned for its partnerships with local farms and for its work in building a stronger local foodshed across the state of Vermont. So why not use the now apparently vast array of Vermont-grown hot peppers available for a hot sauce?

Like a beautiful piece of artwork, a map of Vermont featuring plaques with the names and locations of all of the Skinny Pancake’s local purveyors adorn the western-facing wall of the Burlington restaurant, drawing the attention of locals and tourists alike.

Overhearing conversations from onlookers of this foodshed spectacle, one thing is unequivocally clear: people are increasingly wondering about and wanting to know where their food comes from.

And that’s something Curtis, and the Skinny Pancake, couldn’t be happier about.

Strengthening Local Foodsheds

As a born-and-raised Vermonter, sharing his love for the local foodshed by working with local farmers simply made good sense: “Seeing farming in an everyday sense,” Curtis told me, “these people dedicating their lives to what they do… What better way to give back than by purchasing local goods from local people that you know? We’re keeping the money local, and bringing their name into the bigger picture.”

In layman’s terms, what this means is that your salad greens now come with a name and a face–and that’s something to be cherished for more reasons than one. As members of 1% for the Planet, the Skinny Pancake is committed to the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and a Profit, donating 1% of their annual sales to local non-profits, in addition to their care and respect for farmers and the working landscape.

​Last summer, I had the incredible opportunity to see, first-hand, the importance of the relationships built between farmers and restaurants like the Skinny Pancake during a working membership at Good Heart Farmstead, one of the Skinny Pancake’s local purveyors (which also happens to be run by a friend of mine from college).
Good Heart Farmstead's Greens Destined For Skinny Pancake, Montpelier

Washing greens from Good Heart Farmstead destined for the Skinny Pancake, Montpelier / Image Credit: AE Digital Environmental Communications
On my hands and knees, in the compost-rich, organic soil, I began clipping lettuce greens, thinking about where they might be headed, and who the lucky end consumer of this fresh and crispy lettuce would be.

“Where’s all this gloriousness headed to?” I asked from a few rows away.

Oh! That? That’s headed to the Skinny Pancake in Montpelier,”  Edge, Good Heart Farmstead’s co-owner, told me. Once you’re done, can you go down and give it a rinse?”

Washing the beautiful greens that go in the Skinny Pancake’s salads and accompany their crêpes was somewhat of a religious experience for me. As I was lifting them in and out of the water, I was imagining them perfectly dressed in the Skinny’s famous maple-pesto vinaigrette, sitting directly next to a Johnny crêpe, which features locally-raised pulled pork with caramelized onions and a VT maple-barbeque sauce, or a Josh Panda crêpe, “fried Misty Knoll chicken tenders with shredded potatoes wrapped in a cornmeal crepe and smothered in sausage gravy,” two of my all-time favorites the Skinny Pancake offers.

Being so close to the source, and knowing the greens’ final destination, was unlike anything I had ever been a part of before.

How are those greens coming, Alex?” Edge yelled from across the farm. Time to focus…

But I couldn’t stop thinking.

“They have a reliable source of greens? And the Skinny Pancake reliably needs greens?” Perfect. Incredible!

“Match made in heaven,” I thought.

And it was.

Seeing Edge hop in his truck and head just 15 miles to Montpelier with the 50 lbs of lettuce we had just harvested was nothing short of magical.

From hot sauce to greens, it’s clear that every ingredient counts when the goal is to support as many local producers as possible. Without the pure dedication and big hearts of local farmers who make the abundance of local ingredients available, and the restaurants like the Skinny Pancake who purchase them and help farmers generate a steadier income, there would be no locally-made hot sauce to be had, or maple-y-pesto-y greens to enjoy on a chilly winter’s day.

Marketplace: Why Campbell changed its mind on GMO labeling

Mother Jones: The EPA Finally Admitted That the World’s Most Popular Pesticide Kills Bees—20 Years Too Late

Bees are dying in record numbers—and now the government admits that an extremely common pesticide is at least partially to blame.

For more than a decade, the Environmental Protection Agency has been under pressure from environmentalists and beekeepers to reconsider its approval of a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, based on a mounting body of research suggesting they harm bees and other pollinators at tiny doses. In a report released Wednesday, the EPA basically conceded the case.

Marketed by European chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer, neonics are the most widely used insecticides both in the United States and globally. In 2009, the agency commenced a long, slow process of reassessing them—not as a class, but rather one by one (there are five altogether). Meanwhile, tens of millions of acres of farmland are treated with neonics each year, and the health of US honeybee hives continues to be dismal.

The EPA’s long-awaited assessment focused on how one of the most prominent neonics—Bayer’s imidacloprid—affects bees. The report card was so dire that the EPA “could potentially take action” to “restrict or limit the use” of the chemical by the end of this year, an agency spokesperson wrote in an emailed statement.

Reviewing dozens of studies from independent and industry-funded researchers, the EPA’s risk-assessment team established that when bees encounter imidacloprid at levels above 25 parts per billion—a common level for neonics in farm fields—they suffer harm. “These effects include decreases in pollinators as well as less honey produced,” the EPA’s press release states.

The crops most likely to expose honeybees to harmful levels of imidacloprid are cotton and citrus, while “corn and leafy vegetables either do not produce nectar or have residues below the EPA identified level.” Note in the below USGS chart  that a substantial amount of imidacloprid goes into the US cotton crop.

Meanwhile, the fact that the EPA says imidacloprid-treated corn likely doesn’t harm bees sounds comforting, but as the same USGS chart shows, corn gets little or no imidacloprid. (It gets huge amounts of another neonic, clothianidin, whose EPA risk assessment hasn’t been released yet.)

The agency still has to consider public comments on the bee assessment it just released, and it also has to complete a risk assessment of imidacloprid’s effect on other species. In addition to their impact on bees, neonic pesticides may also harm birds, butterflies, and water-borne invertebrates, recent studies suggest. Then there are the assessments of the other four neonic products that need to be done. Meanwhile, a coalition of beekeepers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday pointing out that the agency has never properly assessed neonics in their most widely used form: as seed coatings, which are then taken up by crops.

Sustainable Pulse: Monsanto Cuts 16% of Work Force as Sales in Roundup Herbicide Fall 34%

Full Article

Monsanto announced Wednesday that sales in the company’s agricultural productivity segment, which includes its probable carcinogen Roundup herbicide, fell 34 % to $820 million. Monsanto’s shares fell over 2% as a result.

The Biotech giant also said Wednesday that it now plans to cut a total of 3600 jobs, or about 16 % of its global work force, through fiscal 2018, and expects to record $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion in restructuring charges.

Monsanto has been struggling for investor confidence following the announcement in March 2015 that the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency had declared the world’s most widely used weedkiller – glyphosate – a “probable human carcinogen”.

Glyphosate is the base of Monsanto’s whole business model;

a) the glyphosate-based herbicide ‘Roundup’ is Monsanto’s leading product.

b) Roundup is the herbicide that the majority of Monsanto’s GM crops are designed to be grown with.

Monsanto stated; “Net sales for the quarter decreased over the prior year’s first quarter to $2.2 billion. Gross profit on an as-reported basis for the 2016 first quarter also decreased over the prior year period to $901 million. As expected, the decline in the quarter is due to weaker foreign currencies, glyphosate pricing and lower corn volumes in Latin America.

With the anticipated continuation of several global and industry headwinds that include the recent currency devaluation in Argentina, Monsanto expects full-year ongoing EPS guidance to be at the lower half of the range of $5.10 to $5.60.”

Star Tribune: Hershey dumps sugar beets because of GM concerns