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TPP action expected soon following TPA approval

A ministerial meeting aimed at finalizing the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal is set for the last week of July, a source close to the negotiations said a week ago on condition of anonymity. This was on the heels of the Trade Promotion Authority (fast-track trade authority) signed into law by President Obama.

The meeting of trade ministers from the dozen countries involved would likely mark the final stage in the TPP negotiations, a massive trade pact covering 40 percent of the world's economy.

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Federal judge ruled against Hawaii county’s ban on GMO crops

A federal judge last week ruled that a Maui County, Hawaii, ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and, therefore, is invalid.

The county's ordinance creating the prohibition exceeded the county's authority, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway said in the ruling she handed down.

The judge noted she was ruling about whether a county has the authority to enforce such a ban and was not ruling on the attributes or negative aspects of growing, producing genetically modified (GM) crops.

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Conservation Program pre-proposals due July 8

This summer, 40 organizations from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana will work together to help agricultural producers reduce phosphorus runoff that ends up in the western Lake Erie basin, affecting water quality and contributing to algae blooms. This is an example of how the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) can be used to solve natural resource challenges in a community, state or region.

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‘Mystery root disease’ present in soybeans

An unidentified “mystery root disease” present in soybeans is being investigated in the Midsouth, and especially Arkansas. Terry Spurlock, University of Arkansas Extension plant pathologist, provided an explanation and update.

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