Inside these posts: Agriculture Department

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Corn futures match all-time high

U.S. corn futures matched their all-time high Monday on increased concerns federal forecasters will slash their supply outlook this week. Get the full story »

Lean Cuisine meals recalled for plastics inside

More than 10,000 pounds of Lean Cuisine frozen spaghetti and meatball dishes have been recalled because of the possible presence of foreign materials, the Department of Agriculture said late on Monday.

Strawberry genome may mean cheaper berries

Farmers have long struggled with getting ripe strawberries to market in good shape, but scientists say the recent mapping of the wild strawberry’s genome may help them produce berries that are cheaper and easier to grow and arrive in stores in peak condition. Get the full story »

Lawsuit filed in beef over Taco Bell ‘meat’

Taco Bell's lineup of beef tacos. (Taco Bell)

“Where’s the beef?” Wendy’s restaurants once famously asked through its advertising as a swipe at its small-burger competitors.

The same question is now being asked by a California woman regarding Taco Bell’s beef products, which she claims contain very little meat. So little in fact, she’s brought a false-advertising lawsuit against the huge fast-food Mexican restaurant chain. Get the full story »

USDA moves e-mail to Chicago-area cloud

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is moving to a cloud-based system for e-mail, with its data being stored in Microsoft’s data center in suburban Chicago.

Cloud computing moves applications to the Internet, cutting costs and facilitating easier access to information. The USDA said it awarded a contract in May to Dell for Microsoft Online Services, aiming to move all of its e-mail, instant messaging and collaboration applications to the cloud.

Microsoft’s data center in Northlake opened in September 2009 and is home to thousands of servers that provide processing power and storage for the company’s cloud services. Get the full story »

Corn syrup makers want sweeter name: Corn sugar

The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar. The bid to rename the sweetener by the Corn Refiners Association comes as Americans’ concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup to a 20-year low.

The group plans to apply Tuesday to the Food and Drug Administration to get “corn sugar” approved as an alternative name for food labels. Get the full story »

Wheat prices surge as weather hurts crops

Wheat prices surged Thursday after the U.S. government lowered its expectations for global wheat production as a devastating drought continues to erode Russia’s crop and that nation’s export ban remains in effect.

The Agriculture Department’s revised global forecast calls for 2010-2011 production of 645.7 million metric tons of wheat, which is 2.3 percent less than it had estimated in July. Get the full story »