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NPPC: Tariffs could put U.S. pork producers out of business

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture News

Retaliatory trade tariffs by China and Mexico now apply to 40 percent of total American pork exports, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of U.S. pig farmers, the National Pork Producers Council said Friday in response to the escalating trade war between the United States and China. The Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese products officially went into effect overnight, prompting China to quickly retaliate with previously threatened penalties on an equal amount of U.S. exports, including pork, beef, soybeans and automobiles.


Costco poultry plant changing Nebraska industry landscape

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture News

In Fremont, Neb., the sky-high feed mill looming over the open fields signals a shift in a state where beef dominates. It will support a $400 million chicken complex that Costco Wholesale Corp. is building to control the quality of birds it sells in its depots nationwide. To supply the giant facility, grain farmers are converting to poultry growers, building on their plots at least four chicken houses each, with some as many as 16. Each of the 432 barns houses 42,000 birds, making for a one-time capacity of more than 18 million of them.


Best advice to U.S. dairy farmers? 'Sell out as fast as you can'

NBC | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture News

“It’s just hard to believe it’s over,” Coombs said later, choking up. “As long as you was milking cows, you always thought there was a hope you'd get back to it. At this point, even if there's a Hail Mary pass, we're done.” Coombs is one of more than 100 dairy farmers across seven states who learned in March that they would lose their contract with Dean Foods, which runs a milk processing plant in Louisville that mainly served Walmart.


Dubai is getting the world's largest vertical farm — and it will grow produce for the world's largest international airport

Business Insider | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture News

Crop One Holdings, a Silicon Valley food startup, and Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC), one of the world's largest airline catering operators, plan build a 130,000-square-foot vertical farm in Dubai. Vertical farms grow crops indoors and year-round without natural sunlight or soil.The facility will be the largest of its kind, and will produce 6,000 pounds of crops daily. The greens and herbs will be used for in-flight meals at Dubai International Airport, the world's largest by international passenger traffic.


New York $30 million available for dairy farm projects

Times Union | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that $30 million is available to support conservation easement projects on dairy farms across New York. Plummeting milk prices have "increased the threat" of more farmland being converted into other developments, Cuomo said in a statement. Land trusts, municipalities and other entities can apply for farmland protection grants of up to $2 million.


Opioid measures among new Tennessee laws kicking in

Associated Press | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Rural News

Requirements aimed at curbing Tennessee’s opioid epidemic are among more than 150 new laws that kick in Sunday. Many laws take effect on July 1 each year, when a new state budget year begins, and some of the highest profile ones this time around are part of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s “TN Together” opioid plan. Tennessee will begin limiting initial opioid prescriptions to a three-day supply, with exceptions for major surgical procedures, cancer and hospice treatment, sickle cell disease and treatment in certain licensed facilities.


Kentucky cuts vision, dental care for up to 460,000 people

Associated Press | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration cut dental and vision coverage for as many as 460,000 Kentuckians after his Medicaid overhaul plan was rejected in court. The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services called the cuts an “unfortunate consequence” of Friday’s ruling by a federal judge. Democrats and advocates for the poor condemned the Republican governor’s move as rash and possibly illegal.  U.S. District Judge James E.


As State ‘Water Wars’ Get Salty, Oysters Get a Say

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Florida and Georgia have been arguing about the water that flows into the Apalachicola Bay for three decades, about as long as Tommy Ward and his family have been selling oysters from the bay. Florida says Georgia draws more than its fair share of water from the Flint and Chattahoochee rivers before they fuse to create the Apalachicola River. Georgia uses the water to supply thirsty Atlanta and the vast farmland south of the metropolis.


Wisconsin’s Dairy Future: The Walmart Impact

WSAW | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Agriculture News

An agricultural business expert says Wisconsin’s cheese production would likely act as a buffer if the milk processing model Walmart started using this summer ever expanded to impact America's Dairyland. "It should be remembered for Wisconsin, 85 to 90 percent of our milk goes to cheese manufacturing," University of Wisconsin – Madison College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Renk Professor of Agribusiness Brian Gould said. “For Wisconsin, beverage milk is not that important. For individual farms it is if they happen to supply to a plant.


Electric co-ops say tax law threatens rural broadband aid

Agri-Pulse | Posted onJuly 9, 2018 in Energy News

A little-noticed provision in the 2017 tax reform law could threaten the non-profit status of rural electric cooperatives if they use federal disaster aid or take advantage of a new initiative to expand broadband service.  The provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts means that government grants to co-ops, including disaster aid and assistance through a rural broadband program Congress enacted earlier this year, are now taxable, according to a letter the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has (NRECA) sent to the congressional tax-writing committees.  Under Section 118 of the old


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