Ag News: Chinese Ag Espionage
**The arrest of a Chinese intelligence official in Belgium last week on espionage charges, for stealing intellectual property from aviation firms has raised tension between the U.S. and China. But, the ag sector has also seen significant intellectual property theft by the Chinese.
Agweb.com reports, in late 2013 federal authorities rounded up a ring of Chinese nationals accused of stealing seed holding trade secrets of American ag companies.
The ringleader was sentenced to three years in prison after seed was dug up from Iowa research fields and shipped to China.
**The U.S. Dairy industry feeling relief after news an updated NAFTA deal called the USMCA was struck between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The potential pact is not a done deal until it’s ratified by all three countries.
According to agweb.com, while NAFTA partners seem to be coming together with the new USMCA deal, Canada and the U.S. couldn’t be more apart on what’s right for their dairy industries.
The Canadian dairy industry does not like the potential agreement.
**The 2018-2019 citrus season has officially kicked off in Florida with USDA’s initial crop forecast, and at first blush, the outlook is quite encouraging.
According to growingproduce.com, early estimates are pegging all oranges at 79 million boxes, a 76% increase over last season’s total of 44.95 million.
Despite last season’s troubles with Hurricane Irma and the ongoing citrus greening scourge, there was a renewed sense of optimism heading into this campaign.