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Pennsylvania Senate passes a series of bills aimed at bolstering farm economy

Penn Live | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

In a year where state officials are paying increased attention to a depressed farm economy, the Pennsylvania Senate gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a set of bills they hope can help.


Danone CEO says plant-based could become as big as dairy

Edairy News | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Food News

Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber. The unit, which includes Silk and So Delicious, currently generates less than $1 billion in sales, compared with the $2 billion in dairy. But the category is growing faster as consumers race to adopt vegan alternatives to everything from yogurt to hamburgers. Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber.


Ag Credit Conditions Deteriorate Steadily

Kansas City Federal Reserve | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Agriculture News

A majority of bankers across the District continued to report decreases in farm income during the first quarter. Despite a slight improvement in livestock prices toward the end of the period, the pace of decline in farm income quickened slightly from a year ago and from the prior quarter (Chart 1). A similar pace of decline also was expected in coming months. However, significant increases in hog prices in the final weeks of the quarter and into April improved revenues for some operations in the livestock sector.


Iowa egg farm sues over damage from bird flu disinfection

WOWT | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Agriculture News

An Iowa egg farm that killed millions of chickens because of a 2015 bird flu outbreak is suing companies hired by the federal government to disinfect barns. Sunrise Farms says the chlorine dioxide gas and heat treatments used to kill the virus destroyed barn equipment, electrical wiring, production equipment and water lines. The company also says the structural integrity of its barns was diminished.The farm near the northwest Iowa town of Harris housed more than 4 million egg-laying hens.The farm confirmed on April 19, 2015, that its birds had the deadly strain of H5N2 bird flu.


House Ag Appropriations Questions Perdue on ERS Move

Herald Review | Posted onMay 14, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

Sanford Bishop and Sonny Perdue go way back. So far back that Bishop, now a 14-term, Democratic congressman from south Georgia, remembers when Perdue, now the Secretary of Agriculture under President Donald J. Trump, was a Democrat.Their friendship was tested April 9 when Perdue appeared before the House Appropriations ag subcommittee to defend the president’s 2020 budget request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


In Farm Belt, objections mount to ‘endless tariff war’

Food & Environmental Reporting Network | Posted onMay 14, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

In a sign that their patience is waning, soybean leaders called for talks, not tariffs, in the Sino-U.S. trade war. “With depressed prices and unsold stocks expected to double by the 2019 harvest, soybean farmers are not willing to be collateral damage in an endless tariff war,” said Davie Stephens, a Kentucky farmer and president of the American Soybean Association. The National Farmers Union, the second-largest U.S. farm group, also said that the financially beleaguered agricultural sector needs long-term economic solutions, rather than spur of the moment bailouts from the White House.


Trump is terrible for rural America

The New York Times | Posted onMay 12, 2019 in Agriculture News

What, after all, is Trumpism? In 2016 Trump pretended to be a different kind of Republican, but in practice almost all of his economic agenda has been G.O.P. standard: big tax cuts for corporations and the rich while hacking away at the social safety net. The one big break from orthodoxy has been his protectionism, his eagerness to start trade wars. And all of these policies disproportionately hurt farm country.The Trump tax cut largely passes farmers by, because they aren’t corporations and few of them are rich.


USDA’s independent researchers vote overwhelmingly to form a union

The New Food Economy | Posted onMay 12, 2019 in Federal News

Employees of the Economic Research Service (ERS), an independent research office nestled within the Department of Agriculture (USDA), voted on Thursday to form a union. It was something of a landslide: 138 in favor to four against. There were a handful of contested votes, but not enough to sway the results. Both ERS employees and union organizers expressed hope that workers could gain the crucial leverage need to push back on controversial, upcoming changes to ERS.


U.S. farm incomes fall in 1st qtr; trade war remains top risk to agricultural economy -Fed banks

Reuters | Posted onMay 12, 2019 in Agriculture News

U.S. farm incomes in the Midwest and Mid-Southern states declined yet again in the first quarter of 2019 amid ongoing strain from low commodity prices, trade uncertainty and severe weather, according to banker surveys released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Banks of St. Louis and Kansas City.


Diabetes mortality gap widens for rural Americans

Daily Yonder | Posted onMay 9, 2019 in Rural News

The rate of death from diabetes is decreasing in metropolitan America while the rate remains relatively unchanged in rural areas. Researchers aren’t sure of the cause.


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