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National Academies Press Genetically Engineered Crops Report Available

National Academies Press | Posted onFebruary 4, 2017 in Agriculture News

Genetically engineered (GE) crops were first introduced commercially in the 1990s. After two decades of production, some groups and individuals remain critical of the technology based on their concerns about possible adverse effects on human health, the environment, and ethical considerations. At the same time, others are concerned that the technology is not reaching its potential to improve human health and the environment because of stringent regulations and reduced public funding to develop products offering more benefits to society.


What are Dairy Farmers Doing to Ensure Cows Health

Dairy Herd | Posted onFebruary 4, 2017 in Agriculture News

Consumers are expressing more interest in knowing how their food is handled, what is in it and where it comes from. Dairy farmers care about their cows and are passionate about their work. People in the dairy industry know how hard farmers work to have healthy and well cared for cows; the problem is it is one of the best-kept secrets from the rest of us. One way the dairy industry is striving to ensure excellent animal care is the National FARM Program. FARM stands for Farmers Assuring Responsible Management.


Weed 101: Colorado Agriculture Agency Shares Pot Know-How

ABC News | Posted onFebruary 4, 2017 in Agriculture News

North Carolina wants to know if marijuana could one day replace tobacco as a cash crop. Louisiana is wondering how pot holds up in high humidity. And Washington state has questions about water supplies for weed. Colorado agriculture officials this week briefed officials from about a dozen states — some that have legalized weed, others that joked their states will legalize pot "when hell freezes over" — on the basics of marijuana farming and swapped stories about regulating a crop that the federal government still considers illegal.


Idaho Gov. Otter recommends $10 million for major ag research center

Capital Press | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter’s proposed fiscal 2017 budget recommends $10 million for ag research center, $400,000 for wolf control efforts and $500,000 in ongoing funding for graduate student housing at University of Idaho agricultural research stations.


Washington Ecology shakes up dairy regulation

Capital Press | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

The Washington Department of Ecology’s rules could keep dairies out of court, but the costs for farmers are uncertain. New rules issued by the Washington Department of Ecology on Wednesday will change the regulatory landscape for the state’s 230 dairies with more than 200 cows. Embracing the rules may shield dairies from government fines or lawsuits by environmental groups, but will mean taking on new obligations with uncertain costs.


States Expected to Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future

Pew Trusts | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Energy News

In Wyoming, Republican Gov. Matt Mead is counting on a state-funded research center set to open this year to find a way to produce energy from coal without releasing carbon dioxide into the environment. In Kansas, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is eyeing new wind farms to bring jobs and economic growth. And in Ohio, Republican Gov. John Kasich says the state needs to support renewable energy to stay competitive and reduce electricity costs.


Printed human body parts could soon be available for transplant

The Economist | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

Every year about 120,000 organs, mostly kidneys, are transplanted from one human being to another. Sometimes the donor is a living volunteer. Usually, though, he or she is the victim of an accident, stroke, heart attack or similar sudden event that has terminated the life of an otherwise healthy individual. But a lack of suitable donors, particularly as cars get safer and first-aid becomes more effective, means the supply of such organs is limited. Many people therefore die waiting for a transplant. That has led researchers to study the question of how to build organs from scratch.


Tenth District Manufacturing Activity Expands

Kansas CIty Fed | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Rural News

–The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released the January Manufacturing Survey today. According to Chad Wilkerson, vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the survey revealed that Tenth District manufacturing activity continued to expand moderately with strong expectations for future activity. “We had another solid composite index reading in January, and firms’ expectations for future activity were the highest in more than twelve years,” said Wilkerson.


Lessons from Germany’s aggressive path to integrate renewables on the grid

Midwest Energy News | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Energy News

As policymakers in Ohio and elsewhere look to modernize their aging electric grid, concepts in Germany’s changing energy system suggest how today’s decisions can set the stage for a greater share of renewables and more energy security.  Germany has committed to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels with a shift known as the Energiewende. The country sees the shift not only as “an important energy project, but also an important economic project,” said spokesperson Beate Baron at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy in Berlin.


Buffett's BNSF cuts ethanol shipper costs amid push for safer train cars

Reuters | Posted onFebruary 2, 2017 in Energy News

BNSF Railway Co will start offering discounts to ethanol shippers this April if they agree to use new, safer train cars, as it pushes to scrub puncture-prone ones from its rail lines at a faster pace than required by U.S. regulations.  The move by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway rail company comes even as ethanol shippers have been slow to embrace the new train cars mandated by sweeping new regulations enacted in 2015 after a series of fiery crude oil derailments.


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