Rain Relief for California and EU Approves Bayer Buyout
**California's drought is about to get a shot in the collective arm as a Pineapple Express is on the way expected to bring plenty of rain and snow.
Growers statewide welcome the atmospheric stream originating in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii and landing in California.
Agweb.com reports surge could touch off mudslides in areas scorched by last year's wildfires and drop much-needed snow in the Sierra Nevada.
Flash-flood watches have been posted across Southern California.
**Bayer AG cleared one big hurdle for its $66 billion takeover of Monsanto, winning European Union approval for the deal after agreeing to bolster BASF by selling it seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture technology.
According to agweb.com, the companies' concessions allayed the EU's antitrust "concerns in full."
Bayer and Monsanto must still convince U.S. regulators who are pushing for the companies to divest more assets to resolve antitrust concerns.
**Congress and the FCC are under increasing pressure to expand high-speed internet service for rural America.
Agri-Pulse reports making the connection won't be easy or cheap, but if Microsoft is right, the rural broadband gap could be eliminated in five years.
One point of agreement is that both federal loans and grants will be a must to reach the estimated 23.4 million rural residents with slow or no internet connection.
Proponents agree the speed and price for rural internet should be comparable to that of urban subscribers.