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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.


Parents seeking healthier restaurant meals for their kids can start to look beyond chicken nuggets and macaroni-and-cheese.

At least 19 restaurant chains – including Burger King, Chili's, IHOP and Friendly's – said Wednesday that they will include healthier options on their children's menus. At least 15,000 restaurant locations will focus on increasing servings of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. The items will have less fats, sugars and sodium.

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Officials announced plans Thursday for a $105 million loan guarantee to help develop the nation's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant near Emmetsburg.

When completed, the plant will produce up to 25 million gallons of ethanol per year. Unlike existing ethanol plants, which produce the fuel from corn, the new facility will use stalks, corncobs and leaves to produce ethanol.

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Two senators from ethanol-producing states proposed to immediately end a tax credit for the corn-based fuel and agreeing to support shifting some of that money to debt reduction.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and John Thune, R-South Dakota, along with ethanol opponent Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, have proposed diverting $1.3 billion of the money remaining for the tax break this year to pay for debt reduction. And $668 million will be used for incentives for the ethanol and biofuels industries.

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The U.N. says global investments in renewable energy jumped 32 percent to $211 billion last year, boosted by wind farm development in China and rooftop solar panels in Europe.

A report by the U.N. Environment Program shows that solar, wind, biomass and other forms of green energy are gaining momentum, despite the lack of progress in international climate talks aimed at slowing emissions of heat-trapping gases from fossil fuels.

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Kids who grow up on traditional farms are 30 percent to 50 percent less likely than other children to develop asthma, a new study shows. But it's not the fresh country air.

It's the germs.

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A larger corn crop is easing concerns of a grain shortage and could slow food inflation later this year.

The U.S. Agriculture Department estimated Tuesday that 880 million bushels of corn will be left over when the harvest begins in the fall. That's an increase from the previous estimate of 730 million acres (295 million hectares).

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