Beekeepers demonstrate at the EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, as lawmakers vote on whether to ban pesticides blamed for killing bees.
Credit Georges Gobet / AFP/Getty Images
Three popular pesticides will soon be illegal in the European Union, where officials hope the change helps restore populations of honey bees, vital to crop production, to healthy levels. The new ban will be enacted in December.
"I pledge to do my utmost to ensure that our bees, which are so vital to our ecosystem and contribute over €22 billion ($28.8 billion) annually to European agriculture, are protected," said EU Health and Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg.
Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.
It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.
A nationwide sugar surplus, triggered by a huge sugar beet harvest, has farmers and processors worried about the price of sugar. Colorado is one of the top ten states for sugar beet production
Credit karma-police / Flickr - Creative Commons
There’s more sugar in the United States right now than we know what to do with, a fact that’s concerning to both sugar growers and the processors that use sugar by the truckload, like candy companies and large-scale bakeries.