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Oregon counties pressured to exit $1.4 billion forest lawsuit

Capital Press | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Rural News

Fifteen Oregon counties must soon decide whether to opt out of a class action lawsuit seeking $1.4 billion for allegedly insufficient logging in state forests.  As the Jan. 25 deadline approaches, a coalition of environmental and fishing groups is urging counties and the taxing entities within them — including school and fire districts — to exit the litigation.


USDA seeks dismissal of pork trademark lawsuit

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Federal News

The USDA has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) against the agency over the sale by National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) to the National Pork Board of the “Pork. The Other White Meat” trademarks.  In 2006 NPPC sold the trademarks to the Pork Board for approximately $35 million. It financed the purchase over 20 years. USDA (which oversees the federal Pork Checkoff) approved the purchase, and the Pork Board’s annual payment was set at about $3 million.


Milk Cost of Production Estimates

USDA | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Federal News

Monthly milk cost-of-production (COP) estimates, and annual milk COP estimates by State and size of operation are shown below. Estimates since 2010 are based on the 2010 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) data from milk producers. Estimates for 2005 through 2009 are based on the 2005 ARMS data from milk producers. Maine and Kentucky farmers lose big..


Training tool available for Veterinary Feed Directive

Ag Week | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Agriculture News

A new training tool is available for agriculturalists who want to learn more about the Veterinary Feed Directive, a  federal directive that regulates the medications put into animals’ feed. The VFD went into affect Jan. 1. The tool, Module 29: Veterinary Feed Directive, was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's National Veterinary Accreditation Program, working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine and Iowa State's Center for Food Security and Public Health.


Bunge to build new soybean plant in Indiana or Ohio

St Louis Today | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Agriculture News

Global agricultural trader Bunge Ltd said on Monday it will build its first new U.S. soybean processing plant in 15 years in Indiana or Ohio to serve growing domestic and export demand for soy products. The plant is expected to be on line by the end of 2019, St. Louis County-based Bunge North America said in a statement.


Spray-On RNA Protects Plants from Viruses for Weeks

MIT Technology Review | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Agriculture News

Scientists have demonstrated that they can use a crop spray to silence genes in plants, rendering the plants resistant to a virus for several weeks.  A team at the University of Queensland in Australia has developed a technique that allows it to deposit RNA onto the leaves of crops. The spray makes use of microscopic sheets of clay, into which RNA is loaded. As the sheets stick to the leaf of a plant and gradually break down, the RNA is taken up by the plants and then interferes with a gene inside to stop it from functioning.


How engineering students are seeking to solve major food and water security problems

MIT News | Posted onJanuary 10, 2017 in Agriculture News

Seven MIT graduate students studying food and water security issues presented their research and preliminary findings on issues such as these during the MIT Water and Food Security Student Symposium. Hosted by the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the MIT Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab, the event brought together professors and students to discuss food and water challenges and opportunities to address these through research.


Last working dairy farm in Weathersfield to sell off cows

WCAX-TV | Posted onJanuary 9, 2017 in Agriculture News

Vermont is known for its picturesque pastures, red barns and grazing cows. But that scenery is getting harder to find.  A state that once had thousands of dairy farms now has just over 800 and another one is about to close. This weekend a farm in Weathersfield is saying goodbye to its cows forever.

David Fuller has owned a dairy farm in Weathersfield since 1977.

"Since I was a kid I've had cows and I just like them," said Fuller. 

And over the past 40 years, he's sold over 50 million pounds of milk. 


The Vertical Farm

The New Yorker | Posted onJanuary 9, 2017 in Agriculture News

The mini-farm in the cafeteria at Philip’s Academy is a significant piece of technology. In fact, it is a key to the story, and it figures in the larger picture of vertical farming worldwide and of indoor agriculture in general. If the current movement to grow more food locally, in urban settings, and by high-tech indoor methods follows the path that some predict for it, the mini-farm in the school cafeteria may one day have its own historical plaque.


Farming’s 2017 questions revolve around weather, foreign trade

The (Warren, OH) Tribune Chronicle | Posted onJanuary 9, 2017 in Agriculture News

Farmers operate a business and they have many of the same questions that most businesses have about the year 2017. They do have a few more things to consider than many other kinds of businesses.

Two of the big questions they think about for next year are the export market and the weather.


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