USDA announces breakthrough for ASF vaccine candidate

IARN — The Department of Agriculture (USDA) Thursday announced that an African Swine Fever Virus vaccine candidate has been adapted to grow in a cell line. The announcement means those involved in vaccine production will no longer have to rely on live pigs and fresh cells for vaccine production. The discovery overcomes one of the major challenges for manufacturing of an African Swine Fever Virus vaccine. The newly developed vaccine, grown in a continuous cell line — which means immortalized cells that divide continuously or otherwise indefinitely — has the same characteristics as the original vaccine produced with fresh swine cells. Read more

EPA Administrator Regan meets with biofuel leaders during Iowa visit

IARN — New Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan visited with biofuel leaders and farmers in Iowa on Tuesday.

Making his first trip since being sworn into office, Regan took a tour of the Lincolnway Energy ethanol plant near Nevada with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Regan also led a roundtable discussion with Iowa farmers and biofuel producers. Read more

CME Group permanently closing physical trading pits

IARN — CME Group announced this week it will not reopen its physical trading pits that were closed last March due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes the trading pits for corn, wheat, soybeans and other ag commodities. Contracts for ag commodities will be traded only electronically. However, CME Group’s Eurodollar options pit, which was reopened last August, will remain open, allowing these contracts to continue to trade in both open outcry and electronic venues. Read more

USDA monitoring crop development amid cold, drought concerns

IARN — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is monitoring crop development in the Midwest as Ag areas deal with drought concerns and cooler than average temperatures.

What kind of impact will colder-than-usual weather have on planted crops in the Midwest? Here’s USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. Read more