Eleven analysts polled by Reuters News Service this week reported an average estimate of 11.45 billion bushels  for corn production this fall, 23 percent under USDA’s initial forecast in May 2012 of 14.79 billion bushels.

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House Republican leadership is reportedly focusing on a one-year extension of the current farm bill, according to a Politico report this week.

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As this fall’s corn crop continues to shrink, the debate regarding the government mandate for corn-based ethanol has expanded internationally.  For example, this week the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said the United States should consider lowering its targets for the use of corn in ethanol.

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Russia formally notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on July 23 that it had ratified its membership agreement, meaning Russia will become the 156th member of the WTO on August 22.

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In a letter to several top administration officials, the National Chicken Council and 37 other organizations said “that a well-negotiated, high-standard agreement can benefit agricultural producers, processors, and exporters in all Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) partner countries.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is accepting comments through September 4 on U.S. negotiating objectives with respect to the participation of Canada and Mexico in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

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USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a final rule, effective August 27, that will amend the regulations that govern the importation of animals and animal products by revising the list of factors APHIS considers when evaluating the animal health status of a foreign region.

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Okey-Dokey Supermarkets is scheduled to open its first of a planned chain of retail grocery stores this coming September 1 in Miami, Florida, according to Supermarket News (SN).  This store would mark the U.S. debut of the Russian retailer behind Europe’s X-5 Retail Group.

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Several McDonald’s restaurants in Atlanta are testing spicy, deep-fried, bone-in chicken wings called “Mighty Wings,” which the chain served across the United States in the 1990s and has recently offered in Australia and Spain, according to The Los Angeles Times.

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U.S. total broiler slaughter for the week ending July 28 is estimated by USDA-AMS’s Poultry Market News Service to be 156,677,000 broilers, a 1-percent decrease from the same week a year earlier.

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