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Recent AgClips

Monsanto donates Middleton plant research facility to UW-Madison

University of Wisconsin | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Rural News

A $10 million commercial biotech plant laboratory in Middleton, Wisconsin, first opened in 1982 with the help of University of Wisconsin–Madison scientists, will soon become part of UW–Madison following a donation from Monsanto Co. The facility, a labyrinth of greenhouses and laboratories where some of plant biotechnology’s first critical steps were taken, was officially donated to UW–Madison’s University Research Park by Monsanto last month (December 2016) to become the hub of the new Wisconsin Crop Innovation Center (WCIC).

Nation’s first integrated wind and solar project takes shape in Minnesota

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

Later this year the nation’s first “integrated” wind and solar hybrid project will begin producing power outside a small city in northwest Minnesota. Developed by Juhl Energy, Inc., the Red Lake Falls Project combines two 2.3 megawatt (MW) General Electric 116-meter rotor turbines with a 1 MW solar photovoltaic installation. Dan Juhl, the company’s founder, said it will be the first project in the country to use wind integrated solar energy (WiSE) allowing turbines and panels to share a converter, which transforms electrical direct-current voltage for use on the grid.

New York Governor:Farmers have saved $36.6 million since assessment rule changed

Times Union | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is noting that farmers have, since a change more than three years ago that lowered the rate at which farmland assessments can rise, saved a total of $36.6 million on property taxes. The shift lowered the maximum allowed rate of increase from 10 percent to 2 percent per year. The idea was to help keep property and school taxes bearable for the state’s farmers who may be land rich but cash poor. Here are the details along with a regional breakdown and a bushel full of happy quotes: Governor Andrew M.

A second chance at farming

Farm Futures | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

Dale McClellan rebuilt his grandfather’s bankrupt milk processing company into a leading business and became a champion for agriculture.  McClellan, who had grown up milking cows, was just 23 when the company — and his family — went broke.“I was young and just trying to survive, but I had a burning passion to get back into processing because I didn’t feel it was our fault that we got out,” McClellan recalls. “They bled him to death through pricing, but that happened to every family milk plant in the United States. National brands squished them.

San Francisco bans retail sale of dogs and cats

Consumer Affairs | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in SARL Members and Alumni News

On February 14, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance prohibiting retail stores from selling commercially bred dogs and cats.  Stores are instead encouraged to partner with animal shelters and rescue groups to display adoptable animals. But the new law, which also prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens under eight weeks old, doesn’t make it illegal to breed companion animals.

Minnesota Farm Groups Work With Lawmakers to Tweak Buffer Law

WNAX | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Minnesota Farm Bureau leaders and other agricultural groups are working with state legislators to tweak the new buffer law. Lawmakers have held hearings where they heard from officials from the Board of Soil and Water Resources and Department of Natural Resources. State Farm Bureau  Associate Director of Public Policy Cole Rupprecht says the buffer maps released by DNR need to be adjusted. He says another area of the law that that needs modification deals with the alternative farming practices listed in the statute.

Humans sparked 84 percent of US wildfires, increased fire season over two decades

Science Daily | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Rural News

Humans have dramatically increased the spatial and seasonal extent of wildfires across the US in recent decades and ignited more than 840,000 blazes in the spring, fall and winter seasons over a 21-year period, according to new research.

Growth Energy Denounces Illegitimate Efforts to Rewrite RFS

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Energy News

Growth Energy condemned efforts by Carl Icahn, owner of CVR Refining, to strike a backroom deal with the Renewable Fuels Association that would irreparably change the Renewable Fuel Standard by shifting the point of obligation from oil refiners to fuel retailers and violating the Trump Administration’s commitment to the RFS. “If true, this proposal would eviscerate America’s progress under the RFS and impose indefensible costs on consumers,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Neither RFA nor Carl Icahn have the authority to strike a ‘deal.’ Mr. Icahn does not work for the U.S.

Spotlight back on California's Prop 2

Feedstuffs | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Agriculture News

Attorneys general seek Supreme Court review of ongoing lawsuit challenging Prop 2, while first egg producer charged criminally regarding welfare standards. In 2008, California voters passed the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, also known as Proposition 2, with 63.5% support. Prop 2 requires that an egg-laying hen must be able to fully spread her wings without touching another animal or a side of the enclosure.

An English Sheep Farmer’s View of Rural America

The New York Times | Posted onMarch 2, 2017 in Rural News

Less than 3 percent of people in modern industrial economies are farmers. But around the world, I am not alone: The United Nations estimates that more than two billion people are farmers, most of them small farmers; that’s about one in three people on the planet. My farm’s lack of profitability perhaps shouldn’t be of any great concern to anyone else. I’m a grown-up, and I chose to live this way. I chose it because my ancestors all did this, and because I love it, however doomed it might seem to others.