12 Stories

Monsanto Defeats Farmer in Soybean Patent Case

Supreme Court rules farmers can't grow second crop from patented seeds

(Newser) - Sometimes Goliath beats David—or Vernon, as the case may be. Seventy-six-year-old farmer Vernon Hugh Bowman has lost his Supreme Court battle with Monsanto over his use of patented soybean seeds, the New York Times reports. The court upheld an $84,000 lawsuit brought against Bowman by the agribusiness giant... More »

Meet Tofu's Enemy: Kudzu Bugs

New research shows they could spread to soybean farms across the US

(Newser) - Kudzu plants have been choking the Southeast for years, so at first blush it would seem that the 2009 arrival of the kudzu-eating kudzu bug from Asia would be a blessing. No so much. It turns out the bugs favor a second crop as well: soybeans. And on the heels... More »

Farmer, 75, Takes on Monsanto

Soybean seed case hits Supreme Court this week

(Newser) - Vernon Hugh Bowman, a 75-year-old Indiana farmer, is taking on agribusiness heavyweight Monsanto in a case hitting the Supreme Court tomorrow. Monsanto says Bowman, who has been using Monsanto's soybean seeds happily for years, is infringing its patents when he plants a second crop of soybeans each year. The... More »

Booming China Wants More of Our ... Soybeans

Exports are up, but so is the trade deficit

(Newser) - China is growing richer, and it wants more and more of what our land produces. US exports to the country are up 50% over 2008, and food led the pack last year—soybeans in particular. Why? They're cheaper to import than feed grain, and are used to beef up... More »

Prisoner Lawsuit: Soy Diet 'Cruel and Unusual'

Sex offender says cheap meat substitutes endanger his health

(Newser) - The low-cost, soy-based diet served in Florida's prisons amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, says a 34-year-old lifer who is suing the state, reports the Orlando Sentinel . Eric Harris, who was convicted for sexual battery on a child, says the cheap meat substitute is causing painful cramps and gas,... More »

Soy Goo May Fight Alzheimer's

Enzyme in fermented beans attacks brain plaques

(Newser) - The good news: There may be a natural way to treat Alzheimer's disease. The bad news: It's kind of gross. A recent study found that natto, the stinky and slimy soybean product featured in some Japanese dishes, contains an enzyme that can shred the type of brain plaque that causes... More »

US Farmers See Leaner Times in Stormy Market

Many predict downturn for agriculture after years of record profits

(Newser) - Plunging crop prices and soaring costs are hitting US farmers with a one-two punch that’s knocked the fight out of what had been one of the stronger segments of the nation’s economy, reports the Wall Street Journal. Corn prices have dropped some 50% since July, and prices for... More »

Farms Fuel Boom in US Exports

Strengthening dollar could trim growth of sales abroad

(Newser) - Worldwide demand for grain and a weak US dollar helped drive exports up 7.1% in the first half of the year, providing a respite from the barrage of negative economic news. But experts warn the commodity-driven rise could be brief, reports the New York Times. Export surges of agricultural... More »

Midwest Awaits Bumper Corn Crop

Ideal growing weather wipes out flood fears

(Newser) - America's farmers are on track to deliver the second-biggest corn harvest ever despite June floods, according to the Department of Agriculture. Shortages were predicted after severe flooding swamped fields, but the Midwest has had ideal corn-growing weather since, the New York Times reports. A healthy soybean crop is also expected.... More »

Corn Prices Leave Catfish Farmers Gasping

Southern farmers abandon fish biz as feed prices triple

(Newser) - The soaring price of corn and soybeans is moving up the food chain and drying up the South's catfish farming industry, reports the New York Times. Farmers are draining their ponds as the cost of feeding the fish becomes prohibitive. In the Mississippi Delta, heartland of the relatively new industry,... More »

After the Deluge: Tallying Massive Costs

Food prices may rise for years to come

(Newser) - Floods that ravaged the Midwest have begun to subside—but  the massive costs of weeks of rising water have only begun to be counted. The floods killed 24 people, left 38,000 homeless and destroyed billions of dollars of crops. The losses are likely to trigger food shortages and push... More »

Investors Sink Billions in 'Green Gold'

But some worry what happens when bottom falls out of farming

(Newser) - Billions of investment dollars are pouring into agriculture as the global demand for food explodes, turning crops such as wheat, corn, and soybeans into green gold, reports the New York Times. And while the immediate impact of more money being fed into agriculture will likely result in increased food production,... More »

12 Stories