The report on “Banned Drugs in Your Meat” by Consumer Reports was released on August 29 and immediately followed by a press release from the USDA in the voice of Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, and she used those words in the title to express her disgust with the report. Rottenberg’s response was enlightening, and maddening in that CR did not listen when USDA tried to explain to them the reports were presumptive and follow up testing specifically for the banned drugs were negative.
U.S. agriculture exports set a record in July. “It’s the best July that the U.S. has seen as far as agricultural exports go, the value total,” said Bryce Cooke, an economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service. The total value of U.S. agricultural exports in July totaled just over $11 billion. In the radio update, Gary Crawford pointed out that the USDA trade data showed U.S. agricultural exports at $122 billion for first ten months of the fiscal year (October – July), which is two percent ahead of last year.
It’s August in southern Idaho, and all is calm for the region’s dairy workers. But after four workers were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, in July, Latino families have mostly stayed inside, missing church and otherwise lying low. In dairy country, the anxiety is constant.
Well-meaning animal lovers who import rescue dogs from abroad are risking the health of millions of UK pets, vets are warning. The British Veterinary Association is urging prospective owners to safeguard the country’s dog population by rehoming dogs from within the UK instead. Nine out of ten vets are “concerned” by the growing numbers of rescue dogs from abroad, according to figures from the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary profession survey. Three quarters of the country’s pet specialists claim the numbers have increased over the last year, it reveals.
The Organic Trade Association announced it will develop a voluntary, industry-invested checkoff program to fund research, promotion and education efforts. Organic stakeholders across the supply chain will collaborate to design and implement the program, the group said. The group has formed a steering committee to coordinate the process and address governance questions to maximize participation and good decision making, it said. It also aims to bring together multiple private efforts to foster coordinated organic research and promotion.
In a report titled “Help Wanted,” CoBank — a cooperative bank serving rural America — explores some of the factors influencing today’s agricultural labor climate. The report also takes a closer look at how poultry processor Case Farms, cattle feedyard operator Friona Industries and pork producer Schwartz Farms are addressing the issue.
USDA released details on aid it will provide to farmers in response to trade disputes, resulting in tariffs instituted by the U.S. and retaliatory tariffs from trading partners, especially China. This article focuses on the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) which will have the largest impact on incomes of Midwest grain farms. The MFP provides cash payments to farmers for a subset of commodity crops, including corn and soybeans that are commonly grown in the Midwest. Payments are to be made using a specific rate per bushel on 2018 actual production.
In Massachusetts, a new law pertaining to abuse/cruelty reporting (HB 2419/S 2646) allows government employees to report known or suspected animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect to local authorities. If an employee makes such a report in good faith, he or she has immunity from civil or criminal liability. The Maryland Department of Agriculture proposed a regulation, Dept of Agriculture/18-196, that would allow a person to administer medically important antimicrobial drugs to livestock if a licensed veterinarian finds that the drug is medically necessary.
The early numbers from a new stock assessment of Gulf of Maine northern shrimp doesn't seem to bode well for the future of the long-shuttered fishery.
An entire summer’s worth of rain has fallen across a broad swath of the Midwest in recent days. The resulting record floods have wrecked homes and altered the paths of rivers, in one case destroying a waterfall in Minnesota. The worst-affected region, southwest Wisconsin, has received more than 20 inches of rain in 15 days– more than it usually gets in six months.Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin declared a statewide emergency last week, mobilizing the Wisconsin National Guard to assist flood victims if necessary.