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Recent AgClips

In a changing climate, will fire make a bigger run in Washington’s west-side forests?

The Seattle Times | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Rural News

The findings, detailed in a study that he led, show that trees had yet to return to some of the driest edges of burn zones, which were dominated by shrubs and grasses. In other areas, trees did take root, but there were fewer of them than in moister, cooler times.On the east side, in forests dominated by thick-barked ponderosa pine, low-intensity fires in centuries past often came every five to 30 years, clearing out brush and small trees.

Trump promised farmers ‘smarter’ trade deals. Now he has to bail them out.

The Washington Post | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Federal News

“Trade, not aid.” That’s what farmers, ranchers and their elected officials keep telling the Trump administration they want. They have worked hard over the years to grow their export opportunities, forging critical relationships in China, Mexico, the European Union, Canada and other markets.

Corporate ag reports huge profits while farmers struggle to feed their families

The Hill | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

All the talk around the farm bill is about the differences in proposals for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — a conversation we need to have. But, there is little talk about why so many families in rural America, including farm families, need food stamps in the first place. We have a bona fide farm crisis on our hands. According to the USDA, farm income has dropped for a fifth straight year, often below costs, and will be the lowest in 12 years.

From The Dairy Crisis To Rising Interest Rates, An Agricultural Economist Answers

Forbes | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

In face of the recent dairy price crisis, the focus has been on making the U.S. dairy support system more robust, with no real energy on the supply control side. Since dairy is increasingly a global market, it is hard to see a policy solution to this crisis. If low prices continue, that will reduce farmers' incentives to adopt new technologies, and over time demand might finally catch up with supply, but it could be a long hard slog to get there.

The Economic Benefits of Local Food Dollars to Workers, Farms and Communities

Choices magazine | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

Overall, the articles summarized here show that local food producers spend proportionately more on labor, other variable expenses (including hand tools, supplies, and farm shop power equipment; other unrecorded expenses; and vehicle registration fees) and utilities than do commodity producers; moreover, as scale of production increases, labor’s share of variable costs also increases. An implication of these findings is that local food production may create jobs as well as stimulate proportionately larger spillover impacts on the local economy than nonlocal production.

The Evolution of the Local Brand, Policy Initiatives and Role of Direct Markets in the Agriculture Portfolio

Choices magazine | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

One trend worth noting for local foods is that growth in some subsectors appears to be maturing, particularly in direct-to-consumer outlets. Despite a 5.5% increase in the number of farms utilizing direct-to-consumer marketing outlets between 2007 and 2012 observed in the Census of Agriculture, there was no change in overall sales as intermediated markets became a more significant channel for those marketing local (Low et al., 2015).

Mapping stress in agriculture lending

Kansas City Fed | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

Repayment rates for farm loans have declined every quarter since the second quarter of 2013, suggesting heightened stress in agricultural lending. If repayment rates continue to decline—and the outlook for the agricultural sector remains downbeat—agricultural banks could become less able to lend to creditworthy farm borrowers. Thus, declining repayment rates could lead to adverse outcomes for agricultural banks, farmers, and the rural economies they serve.

Why we stick to false beliefs: Feedback trumps hard evidence

Science Daily | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Ever wonder why flat earthers, birthers, climate change and Holocaust deniers stick to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? New findings suggest that feedback, rather than hard evidence, boosts people's sense of certainty when learning new things or trying to tell right from wrong.Developmental psychologists have found that people's beliefs are more likely to be reinforced by the positive or negative reactions they receive in response to an opinion, task or interaction, than by logic, reasoning and scientific data.

What Are the Most-Googled Wildlife Photos in Your State?

Live Science | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Rural News

Are people more captivated by deadly local snakes, carnivorous mammals or venomous spiders? It depends on where people live, according to new data from Google showing the top image searches for bugs and wild animals, state by state in the U.S.

Dairy farmers say denting supply management in NAFTA deal would be 'devastating'

Vancouver Courier | Posted onSeptember 6, 2018 in Agriculture News

Nearly 1,000 kilometres from Washington, where a team of top Canadian negotiators sit in 11th-hour NAFTA discussions, Peter Strebel works under a cloud of concern at the rural Quebec dairy farm his father founded in 1976. The Quebec milk producer is worried that rumblings that Canada may sacrifice part of the sacred cow of supply management as a concession in trade negotiations with the United States would “punish” the dairy industry, open the floodgates to American milk products and prompt thousands of farm closures north of the border.