Corn, soybean harvests closing in on five-year averages

WASHINGTON — Despite a cool, wet planting season that included delays, the pace of the 2013 soybean and corn harvests was on track with current five-year averages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Crop Progress data reported for the week that ended Oct. 27. The U.S.D.A. pegged the soybean crop at 77% harvested in the…

Saturated fat reduction a focus in the U.K.

LONDON — Leading food companies in the United Kingdom have signed onto a “responsibility deal” and are working with the country’s Department of Health to reduce the amount of saturated fats in food products. Companies that have signed a voluntary agreement include Mondelēz International, Nestle, and Unilever, as well as such retailers as Aldi, Subway,…

C.D.C. links Texas cyclospora outbreak to cilantro

ATLANTA — Public health officials have linked an outbreak of illnesses in the state caused by cyclospora to fresh cilantro harvested in Puebla, Mexico. The C.D.C. indicated the cyclospora outbreak that has sickened 643 people from 25 states may be multiple outbreaks from different sources. Officials in Iowa and Nebraska concluded that the cyclospora illnesses…

USDA resumes reports on egg sets

WASHINGTON – Commercial hatcheries set 188 million eggs in incubators during the week ending Oct. 19, 2013, an increase of 6 percent over the corresponding a week a year ago, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 84 percent. Broiler-type chicks placed for meat production gained…

Tyson shifts purchases of Canadian cattle

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods Inc. has stopped buying cattle directly from Canadian producers citing burdensome costs incurred because of US country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules. Under revised COOL regulations, meat packers must label muscle cuts of meat with information about where each of the production steps occurred. “These new rules significantly increase costs because they…