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Recent AgClips

At N.H. Border Checkpoints, Immigration, Drug Policy and Politics Collide

New Hampshire Public Radio | Posted onSeptember 13, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been running checkpoints in New Hampshire more frequently under the Trump administration, setting up on Interstate 93 near the small towns of Woodstock and Lincoln. The stated goal of these stops is enforcing immigration law, and to that end, they have been fairly successful. Agents have arrested more than 50 people over the past two years who they determined to be in the country illegally.

USDA sued for allegedly blocking info on experiments that killed 3,000 cats

The Hill | Posted onSeptember 13, 2018 in Federal News

The White Coat Waste Project, a right-leaning advocacy group in Virginia, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this week against the USDA in an attempt to gain information about government experiments that involved euthanizing thousands of cats. The lawsuit alleges that the USDA stopped the group's attempt to obtain information about its research via a Freedom of Information Act request. The group had asked for veterinary records for all “cats and kittens” experimented on at a federal facility in Beltsville, Md.

Apeel’s Edible Produce Coating Could Slay Food Waste And Save Supermarkets Billions

Forbes | Posted onSeptember 13, 2018 in Food News

Apeel produce is, for the first time, becoming available in stores. For now, that’s only Apeel avocados. (Which makes sense. The fickleness of a ripe avocado has inspired internet memes, but Americans still bought north of $2 billion of them last year.) Harps, a grocery chain in the Midwest, started selling Apeel avocados in May, and Costco signed on in June. In the three months since, Apeel says Harps has discarded dramatically fewer avocados—as much as 60% fewer. That improvement translated to a 10% sales lift in avocados, and a 65-percentage-point increase in its margin on the fruit.

Wind and solar farms can make their own weather, including extra rain over the Sahara

The Los Angeles Times | Posted onSeptember 13, 2018 in Energy News

Scientists say these renewable forms of energy can change the climate more directly — and do it in ways that might surprise you.If wind turbines and solar panels were deployed across the Sahara, more rain would fall and more plants would grow in the massive African desert, according to researchpublished in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.In the case of wind farms, the giant turbines would cause warmer air from above to mix with cooler air below, bringing more heat close to the surface.

USDA decision ends request to halt mineral leases

Business North | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Energy, Federal News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-opened the door to mineral exploration in the Rainy River Watershed, allowing companies to lease minerals in the Superior National Forest. USDA’s decision received a warm welcome from mining supporters, who have worried the obstacle would stifle Iron Range economic growth. Environmentalists said it will harm the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.“Today’s announcement from the U.S.

Georgia farm will get compensated for poultry deaths due to bald eagle attacks

Agdaily | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

White Oak Pastures, whose 3,200 acres makes it the largest USDA certified-organic property in Georgia, estimates that bald eagles have destroyed nearly 160,000 chickens over the years, resulting in over $2,200,000 in losses. The farm was famously the subject of a 2016 Audubon feature article titled, “An Organic Chicken Farm in Georgia Has Become an Endless Buffet for Bald Eagles,” which explored the impact of the nearly 75 eagles living at the farm.

From pigs to prairie grass: Missouri company seeks new biogas feedstock

U.S. Energy News | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Energy News

A St. Louis alternative energy company has started the second phase of an ambitious biogas project in northern Missouri that aims to turn prairie plants from marginal farmland into renewable natural gas. Roeslein Alternative Energy, in a partnership with Smithfield Foods and a group of Midwest universities, has begun converting the first of a thousand acres of lower quality farmland to prairie grasses.If the company can find a solution that is both technically and financially viable, it could provide broad environmental benefits as well as new income for farmers.

The E.P.A.’s Review of Mercury Rules Could Remake Its Methods for Valuing Human Life and Health

The New York Times | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Federal News

When writing environmental rules, one of the most important calculations involves weighing the financial costs against any gains in human life and health. The formulas are complex, but the bottom line is that reducing the emphasis on health makes it tougher to justify a rule.

Congress rolls back tariffs

Washington Examiner | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

On a voice vote and with little fanfare the House passed legislation Tuesday that would roll back tariffs on an estimated 1,660 products from China, mostly chemicals. The legislation, dubbed the Miscellaneous Tariffs Act, previously passed the Senate last month and now heads to the White House, which has not taken a public position on it. The bill’s supporters argue that the tariffs are outdated and protect few products made domestically and therefore drove up costs for the manufacturers that need them.

German cows die after being freed from organic farm

DW | Posted onSeptember 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

At least four cows have died and many more are injured after unknown assailants trespassed on an organic farm and released the cattle from their pens in the German state of Brandenburg. The culprits released scores of dairy cows and young cattle between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The cows proceeded to the concentrate feed area, where they ate up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of the substance. Normally, cows only receive a maximum of two kilograms of concentrate per day, the report said.