2018 is on track for the worst year-on-year growth in domestic milk production since 2013, according to a new report from Rabobank. Prospects don’t look much better for 2019 as the industry continues to grapple with overproduction, tariffs and volatile market dynamics. Despite increases in consumer spending, retail dairy sales have mostly declined. The hardship is in part due to a dramatic oversupply that has forced prices down and left dairy manufacturers reeling. Nevertheless, U.S. milk solids exports were up 18% across the board. Trade disputes have provoked shifts in the market.
Rural communities face clear economic and environmental risks from a changing climate, according to the 2018 National Climate Assessment. The report documents changes in the timing of seasons, temperature fluctuations, increased incidence of extreme weather and change in rainfall – all patterns with the potential disrupt rural economic activities. Climate change in rural communities poses an outsized risk to the national economy, the report says.
Farmer Bruce Buchanan was so elated with Donald Trump's October vow to allow higher sales of corn-based ethanol that he carved a huge thank-you note in his Indiana cornfield. Now, though, the president's actions have him worried. The government shutdown that Trump says could last "a long time" without funding for a border wall may hurt farmers by delaying the administration's ability to steer through the approval for year-round sales of a 15 percent ethanol blend for gasoline before the summer begins. That's up from 10 percent allowed now.The increased sales would certainly be helpful.
My mother texts me four photos of a dead moose the week I leave Alaska. It is freshly hit. The animal will not go to waste. For the past 50 years, Alaska has been the only state where virtually every piece of large roadkill is eaten. Every year, between 600 and 800 moose are killed in Alaska by cars, leaving up to 250,000 pounds of organic, free-range meat on the road. State troopers who respond to these collisions keep a list of charities and families who have agreed to drive to the scene of an accident at any time, in any weather, to haul away and butcher the body.
Rick Snyder says there is insufficient scientific evidence that cage-free eggs are superior to conventional eggs in terms of animal welfare or food safety.In one of his last acts as governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would establish the effective date of requirements that all eggs produced in Michigan come from cage-free laying systems.The 2009 law that created and phased in new standards for cage-free housing for certain animals would have been effective October 12, 2019.
The state is offering money to companies who hire workers to telecommute from rural Utah. The incentives -- as much as $6,000 per full-time job -- are meant to help boost unemployment in rural areas."It’s a great way for the businesses along the Wasatch Front that are having a challenging filling these positions. Things are booming here. The demand is great. Don’t go to India, look to our rural counties," said Rebecca Dilg, the rural and community outreach manager for the Governor's Office of Economic Development.The Utah State Legislature approved spending $1.5 million for the program.
The Department of Transportation in the last weeks of 2018 permanently suspended the requirement that livestock haulers use electronic logging devices (ELDs).A brief statement on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stated simply: “Transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD. The statutory exemption will remain in place until further notice.
The issue we want to focus on in this column is the funding of land-grant universities and colleges. n recent years we have been dismayed by the significant decline in the share of the cost of operating these land-grant institutions being borne by the federal and state governments. The result of this has been the increasing dependence of these educational institutions on student tuition, grants (public, charitable, and commercial), and philanthropy.
COPD is one of the five most common causes of death in the U.S. The other four are heart disease, cancer, stroke and accidents. Of those five, death rates due to heart disease, cancer and stroke are higher in rural communities than in towns and cities, but are coming down for both rural and urban people. Deaths due to accidents, including drug overdoses, are increasing in both areas. The pattern for COPD is unique. Death rates due to COPD are falling in urban people, but increasing among rural people.It’s not clear why more rural people are dying of COPD.
Rural counties and small metropolitan areas crowd the top of the list of U.S. counties that rely most on help from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, the USDA program formerly known as Food Stamps. Of the top 100 counties ranked by the share of population that participates in SNAP, 85 are rural, according to 2015 Census data. And the few metropolitan counties that did make the top-100 list are predominately in smaller metro areas.