GFM Network News


U.S. Senate confirms Vilsack as Biden’s ag secretary

Pandemic leaves USDA 'a lot of work to do'

Reuters — The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed Tom Vilsack to head the Department of Agriculture, returning the former Iowa governor to the job he held under ex-President Barack Obama. The 100-member Senate approved Vilsack 92-7. He needed a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled chamber to be confirmed. As secretary of the sprawling department, Vilsack […] Read more

Cash-strapped pot producers raise billions in market rally

Cannabis firms seen as down in the weeds until recent surge

Reuters — A political shift in the United States has unlocked an estimated US$1.38 billion jackpot for struggling pot producers who have cashed in on a surge in their shares since President Joe Biden’s election in November. Cannabis producers have issued stock worth this amount in the first five weeks of 2021, investment firm Viridian […] Read more



U.S. oil industry seeks unusual alliance with Farm Belt against electric vehicle agenda

'We weren't born yesterday'

New York | Reuters — The U.S. oil industry is seeking to forge an alliance with the nation’s corn growers and biofuel producers to lobby against the Biden administration’s push for electric vehicles, but is so far meeting a cool reception, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions. The effort marks an unusual attempt […] Read more


U.K. to ask to join Trans-Pacific trading bloc ‘shortly’

Bilateral deals signed or in works with several CPTPP members

London | Reuters — Britain will soon submit its application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc, trade minister Liz Truss said on Wednesday. Since deciding to leave the European Union, a process it completed at the end of 2020, Britain has been seeking out new trading arrangements around […] Read more

Trump administration mulls industry-wide biofuel waiver

Comment period would end after Trump's exit

New York | Reuters — The Trump administration is considering requests from the oil refining industry and its backers for a sweeping nationwide waiver to exempt them from their obligations to blend biofuels, a measure they argue would help them weather the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency […] Read more


Vilsack expected to return as USDA secretary

Washington/Chicago | Reuters — U.S. President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for agriculture secretary, Axios reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Biden transition office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. Vilsack, who led the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under […] Read more

U.S. fuel industry frazzled as EPA misses biofuel volumes deadline

COVID-19 fallout complicates process

New York | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was set to miss a deadline Monday to announce how much renewable fuel the nation’s refiners must blend into their fuel mix next year, raising uncertainty in the fuel market and prompting one biofuel association to threaten to take the agency to court. Under federal […] Read more


Trump’s payments to farmers hit all-time high ahead of election

Canadian growers seek level playing field

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump is assuring a bumper year for farmers as the Nov. 3 election approaches, with record government subsidies projected to make up more than a third of farm income in 2020. The aid programs could be key to Trump’s chances of success in swing states such as Wisconsin, […] Read more

As Biden tours Iowa, farmers want to know where he stands on ethanol

New York | Reuters — Joe Biden may have an ethanol problem. The former U.S. vice-president has pledged support for advanced biofuels as part of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. But Biden, who leads the crowded Democratic field in opinion polls in Iowa and nationally, faces lingering questions in the U.S. Farm […] Read more