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Senate bill backing agriculture also bans plastic bags at farmers markets

Miford Daily News | Posted onMay 9, 2016 in Agriculture News

    Massachusetts shoppers would be able to buy craft beers and spirits at farmers markets - but not take those bottles or any other purchases home in a plastic bag - under a bill approved Thursday by the Senate.

    An omnibus bill (S 2171) that passed the Senate on a 36-1 vote takes a variety of steps aimed at promoting agriculture in the state.


U.S. Farmers Open Up Silos as Corn Hits `Magic' Price Levels

Bloomburg | Posted onMay 9, 2016 in Agriculture News

The best rally for corn prices in 10 months meant U.S. farmers were frantic to sell from the mountain of grain they’d been hoarding.

Growers have been stockpiling supplies following a string of bumper harvests, waiting patiently for a rebound in prices. Their hopes have finally been answered after dry weather threatened crops in Brazil, sending futures traded in Chicago to their highest in nine months. With more than 50 percent of U.S. corn stockpiles stashed on farms as of March, the unexpected price gains had resulted in “quite brisk” sales and deliveries


Ag Startups Get Boost from Big Firms

New York Times | Posted onMay 9, 2016 in Agriculture News

New technologies are opening up new opportunities and investment in early stage agricultural companies is springing to life.  One sign is a new "accelerator" to assist fledgling agricultural companies. Its backers include Bayer and Syngenta and some venture capital firms that typically focus on pharmceuticals, not farms.
 


Mechanism discovered for plants to regulate their flowering in a warming world

Science Daily | Posted onMay 9, 2016 in Agriculture News

A new mechanism that enables plants to regulate their flowering in response to raised temperatures has been discovered by researchers. The finding could potentially lead to the development of technology allowing us to control the physiological response of plants and mitigate the impacts of warming temperatures.


Closing Ohio’s prison farms will halt a $9 million project

Farm and Dairy | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in Rural News

The proposed closure and sale of Ohio’s 10 prison farms will affect some ongoing construction projects — including a $9 million project to build new dairy and beef facilities at two farms. The state was in the final stages of constructing new cattle facilities at the London and Marion prison farms — and was about to begin installing the milking parlor equipment, when the intent to close and sell was announced.


Ohio House committee hears CAUV bill testimony

Farm and Dairy | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in Agriculture News

Farmers, landowners and farm policy makers voiced their concerns for increased land values and high tax rates at a time when farmers are facing historically low farm incomes. The Government Accountability and Oversight Committee heard eight testimonies and received an additional five written testimonies in favor of reform of the Current Agricultuire Use Value (CAUV) formula during a second hearing of House Bill 398


Purdue professor talks GMOs

Agri-news | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in Agriculture News

The image of a mad scientist injecting corn with a syringe full of DNA does not accurately portray the use of genetically modified organisms. Most transgenic work takes place in a laboratory with intensive attention to detail, says a professor at Purdue University. Peter Goldsbrough, professor of botany and plant pathology, talked about GMOs during an Extension event in Martinsville. “There’s a lot of misinformation and lack of knowledge about GMOs,” he said. “My goal is to try and help explain and answer questions and see where we’re going next.


Human activity helps drive wildfires

Plos One | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in Rural News

Wildfire predictions do not accurately account for anthropogenic factors.  A new study examining wildfires in California found that human activity explains as much about their frequency and location as climate influences. The researchers systematically looked at human (anthropogenic) behaviors and climate change together, which is unique and rarely attempted on an area of land this large.


Recent Developments with Right-to-Farm Laws

Ag Law Education Initiative | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in Agriculture News

Webinar on April 4, 2016 covering recent developments with right-to-farm laws. Webinar features Tiffany Lashmet with Texas A&M and Ashley Ellixson and Paul Goeringer with University of Maryland.


2 Conditions improve, but farmers not optimistic

USA Today | Posted onMay 6, 2016 in News

Farmers and ranchers are enjoying better conditions these days, but many aren't optimistic the changes will significantly help them soon, according to a survey released Tuesday by Purdue University and futures market operatorCME Group. The Ag Economy Barometer, a nationwide measure of the health of U.S. agriculture, rose 21 points in April to 106 as higher prices for corn, soybeans and wheat and good weather for crop plantings boosted producer sentiment. Still, 76% of the 400 respondents said they expect the next 12 months to be challenging financially.


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