**The number of people sickened by Salmonella contaminated beef from a JBS Tolleson packing plant in Arizona has increased exponentially.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 333 cases in 28 states have been confirmed so far.

Agweb.com reports, JBS recalled 6.5 million pounds of ground beef after discovering the contamination in October, but later increased the recall to 12 million pounds.

91 people have been hospitalized, but no deaths reported.


**China’s state stockpiler and its top food company plan to buy more U.S. soybeans, according to insiders.

According to agweb.com, those sources say purchases are expected before the end of the week.

The orders would be in addition to the 1.5 million to 2 million tons the U.S. Soybean Export Council said China bought earlier this week, a major gesture toward easing trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

**The USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.

That’s the word from Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue who says high-speed internet e-Connectivity is a necessity, not an amenity, vital for quality of life and economic opportunity.

Agrimarketing.com reports telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA's new ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service.

Projects funded must serve communities with fewer than 20,000 people.

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