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Industry News

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


The drought is getting so bad in parts of Kansas that farmers are weighing whether to borrow from next year's water allocation to quench this year's crops.

The state's Division of Water Resources has offered water rights holders in selected counties a pair of options for adjusting the way they use their five-year allocations. The program is a condition of a drought declaration for dozens of Kansas counties that have been long suffering under drought conditions.

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U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says farmers interested in participating in a federal program to reduce pollution in Saginaw Bay have until July 22 to enroll.

The Michigan Democrat said Tuesday that Saginaw Bay is one of three watersheds in the U.S. included in the preservation and conservation effort. It's part of President Barack Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative and has $550,000 in funding.

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Nestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, took a big step into the Chinese market Monday with the announcement that it is to buy a majority stake in candy maker Hsu Fu Chi for 2.1 billion Singapore dollars ($1.7 billion; $1.4 billion Swiss francs).

The Swiss manufacturer of Nescafe coffee, KitKat bars and Dreyer's ice cream, said it will acquire 60 percent of shares in Singapore-listed Hsu Fu Chi, which had sales of about $800 million last year.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has taken the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to task for its handling of the Missouri River in a letter questioning its decision not to release more water from dams earlier in the spring to prevent prolonged flooding this summer.

The river is near historic flood levels along the more than 800 miles it stretches from the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to its confluence with the Mississippi River. More than 560,000 acres in seven states have flooded, including nearly 447,000 acres of farmland, Vilsack spokesman Justin DeJong said. The flooding followed unexpected spring rains and the melting of a deep snowpack in the Rocky Mountains.

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Pfizer Inc. said Thursday it may sell its animal health and nutrition business in the next two years so it can focus on expanding its low-cost pharmaceuticals unit.

Pfizer, which has faced pressure to eliminate some business units and return more cash to shareholders, said the moves will allow investors to get more value for the businesses. The company will also consider transactions including spinoffs and may pursue different strategies for each business.

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The international derivatives exchange Eurex announced that it will intensify efforts to extend its footprint in the agricultural markets. The exchange will kick off a new educational initiative to reach key U.S. dairy market participants with a one-day Chicago conference on global dairy markets on July 18. The program features renowned dairy market academics including Michael Keane, senior lecturer at University College Cork in Ireland, and Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin.

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