A new study finds the fertilizer sector contributed more than $162 billion and more 500,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in 2014. The Fertilizer Institute announced the economic impact study this week that the organization says quantifies the fertilizer industry's contribution to the U.S. economy. The results found the fertilizer industry directly employs 85,000 people who produce over $68 billion in output. The nation's fertilizer retailers alone support more than 43,000 jobs with a total annual payroll of $23 billion. Fertilizer manufacturers and wholesalers combined contribute another 41,000 jobs with a combined annual economic impact of $46 billion.

Wal-Mart and its Sam’s Club warehouse chain will require that its egg suppliers adopt United Egg Producers rules or an equivalent set of standards for cage-free housing by 2025. The company says compliance will be checked annually by a third party. Wal-Mart sells more groceries than any other company in the country. The new guidelines will apply to the retailer's more than 5,000 stores in the United States.

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