Smithfield Price-Fixing Settlement and Surge in Renewable Diesel Production
**With harvest season in high gear, U.S. farmers have another supply chain challenge.
Bloomberg says there aren’t enough barges moving goods up and down the shrinking Mississippi River.
Drought is drying the vital American waterway, which means a lot less room for vessels moving corn and soybeans from farms to U.S. ports.
More than half of the corn and soybean shipments heading to world markets travel along the Mississippi.
It also follows a challenging growing season filled with weather problems and soaring inflation.
Fertilizers needed by producers to grow grain are also at risk as they ship along the Mississippi.
**Smithfield Foods agreed to pay $75 million to settle a price-fixing lawsuit.
Smithfield spokesman Jim Monroe says the company denied liability in settling, and that the accord reduces the distraction, risk, and cost of protracted litigation.
Smithfield previously reached settlements worth $83 million with direct purchasers and $42 million with commercial purchasers, including restaurants.
Smithfield is based in Virginia and owned by WH Group out of Hong Kong.
**A new report from CoBank says the recent investment surge in U.S. renewable diesel production is likely to ignite a period of growth and transition for the biofuels industry.
CoBank’s Ken Zuckerberg says, the outlook for biofuels is good as the U.S. and other developed countries embrace renewable liquid transportation fuels as a solution to greenhouse gas emissions.
CoBank says U.S. soybean acreage would need to grow by 17.9 million acres to fill the supply gap.