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AgClips for December 21, 2017


Agclips for the week ending September 24, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Roberts, Stabenow question econ reorganization, ERS, NIFA moves

High Plains Journal | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, wrote a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue Sept. 7 raising concerns about the Trump administration’s plans to place the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economics functions under the Office of the Secretary and to move most of the employees of the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington. At the same time, USDA announced an extension of the deadline for communities to express an interest in housing the agencies until Oct.

FAPRI Update: U.S. Net Farm Income Projected to Decline

Illinois Farm Policy News | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

FAPRI indicated that, “Large crops and trade disputes put downward pressure on U.S. farm commodity prices and farm income. Even considering the initial round of market facilitation program (MFP) payments, U.S.

Resiliency in the face of hurricanes makes the case for renewables even stronger

Quartz | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

People of the Carolinas are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Florence, the wettest tropical cyclone on record.  Solar-power installations were largely able to escape without harm.Before the storm hit, Duke Energy’s 40 solar-power sites were “de-energized” and set up horizontally to minimize wind damage. Although it’s too soon say what, if any, damage occurred, the signs are good. Soon after the storm passed, all the installations had begun producing power. Rooftop solar installations fared well too.

Rising US-China trade tensions 'couldn't come at a worse time': Iowa agriculture secretary

CNBC | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

The ratcheting of the U.S.-China trade war is unfortunate and comes at a lousy time for farmers, according to Iowa Agriculture Commissioner Mike Naig. The state official said farmers in Iowa are in the harvest season for key crops such as soybeans and corn, which are among the farm commodities already hit by China's tit-for-tat tariffs.Beijing struck back against the Trump administration's new round of trade tariffs by imposing duties on $60 billion of American products, including cocoa powder and frozen vegetables.

Bankers Expect 7.8 Percent Decline in Farm Equipment Sales Next 12 Months

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

 For a seventh straight month the overall index rose above growth neutral. Bankers reported a decline in the sale of agriculture equipment and expect sales to decline by another 7.8 percent over the next 12 months.   More than one-half of bankers supported cutting recently enacted tariffs.  In reaction to weak farm commodity prices and income, almost one-third of bank CEOs reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans. 

The Profit Problem of American Agriculture: What We Have Learned with the Perspective of Time

Choices magazine | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

The problem of poor profits in American agriculture is not new or a secret, but it is not well known to most Americans, including most policy makers, even though the problem threatens an entire sector of our national economy. As such, the problem should be understood by policy makers at all levels of American government. Yet after more than 80 years of government policy interventions in agriculture, the problem remains: Farm income for 2018 is forecast to fall to its lowest real-dollar level in nearly two decades (USDA, 20018c).

After 'major escalation' in US-China trade war, what happens next?

CNN | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The trade war between the United States and China just got a lot bigger after both sides announced their broadest waves of tariffs yet.The latest exchange of fire means the two economic superpowers will soon have imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of goods.

No federal aid coming for livestock producers: Canadian agriculture minister

ipolitics | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

No financial aid package is in the works for Canada’s livestock sector, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says — despite pleas from producer groups who warn plummeting prices are forcing producers out of business.

Omaha company idles Iowa ethanol plant, points to trade war, lack of year-round E15

Des Moines Register | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

Omaha-based Green Plains says it's idling production at a northwest Iowa ethanol plant, but the facility remains open and its nearly 50 employees continue to work. Jim Stark, Green Plains spokesman, said the company plans to resume production at Superior, but he's unsure exactly when that will occur. The facility employs 46 workers.

Florence update: Animal deaths expected to top Hurricane Matthew toll

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Hurricane Florence apparently has caused more livestock losses than Hurricane Matthew two years ago, as state officials and processing companies continue to assess the damage to operations and farms. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is estimating preliminary livestock losses – from the storm making landfall and subsequent flooding – at 3.4 million poultry and 5,500 hogs. Officials at the agency called Florence “an unprecedented storm” that affected the top six agricultural counties in the state. Florence covered the same areas hit by Matthew in 2016.

Trump administration weakens methane pollution standards for drilling on public lands

The Hill | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

The Trump administration on Tuesday finalized its plans to weaken regulations on methane gas releases from drilling on public land.The action from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolls back key provisions of an Obama-era rule that limited releases of the greenhouse gas during oil and gas production on publicly owned lands leased to fossil fuel companies.The new rule is expected to allow for more leaks of the gas through a practice known as venting or flaring, adding to air pollution.

Memo Contradicts Ross’s Rationale for Adding Citizenship Question to Census

Daily Intelligencer | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

The U.S. government’s decennial attempt to count every human being within its borders might seem like one of Uncle Sam’s most anodyne activities. But when those overseeing the count belong to a political movement that explicitly regards demographic change as its enemy — and disenfranchising Democratic constituencies as fair game — the Census can begin to resemble an ominous enterprise. Census data shapes the contours of political districts, and determines each state’s clout in the Electoral College.

Indiana NIPSCO plan would eliminate coal-fired electricity generation within 10 years

NorthWest Indiana Times | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

IPSCO has a tentative plan to retire its entire coal-fired electricity generation fleet in the next decade, with the majority of its coal-fired generators to be retired in the next five years.The company made the announcement at the fourth of five public meetings detailing the development of a new Integrated Resource Plan for the utility.“This creates a vision for the future that is better for our customers, and it’s consistent with our goal to transition to the best cost, cleanest electric supply mix available while maintaining reliability, diversity and flexibility for technology and mark

Solar Going Big (And Small) In Illinois

Northern Public Radio | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

Solar power has been used here and there in Illinois for a long time. But now the state is going for it in a big way. With the Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, Illinois charted a course to boost renewable energy, particularly solar, in a big way.It's all being managed by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA), led by Anthony Star. It was established to manage electricity markets, including renewables, and still does.

13 Solar farms coming to Northern Illinois county

My Stateline | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

As concerns over global climate change and limited resources rise, the race to provide renewable energy has come to Illinois. In the Stateline, companies pitch their plans to make local fields the source of that energy.  The Boone County Board is among many other local counties to be inundated with solar farm applications. County leaders tell us if green energy comes to the Stateline -- it could mean more money for local governments. Wednesday, a third solar farm was approved by the Boone County Board. The project is one of thirteen applications.

Farm bill hurts ability of communities to protect health, environment of citizens

The Hill | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

As city mayors, we are deeply troubled that Congress is considering taking away our right to home rule. In House and Senate negotiations last week, legislators considered Section 9101 of the federal Farm Bill that would rescind the right of our communities and their elected officials to restrict hazardous pesticides. During the past two years, our neighboring cities passed landmark legislation to restrict pesticides, require organic land care and protect public health. We believe federal preemption of our authority is undemocratic and contrary to our country’s founding principles.

Pennsylvania announces $5M for dairy farmers

ABC | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The funding was made available under the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, which helps farmers to modernize or expand their operations. Milk sales have dropped in recent years, partly because more people are buying soy, almond, and other non-dairy substitutes.

Ring leader pleads guilty in egg farm worker smuggling scheme

Columbus Dispatch | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

The man who held a multimillion-dollar contract to supply workers — many of whom were underage and smuggled into the country illegally from Guatemala — for central Ohio egg farms pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to a labor trafficking-related charge. Pablo Duran Ramirez, 50, faces up to 10 years in prison for one count of encouraging the illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals for financial gain.

Why antibiotic-use foes should be wary of lab-grown meat

Watt Ag Net | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Food News

If consumers have the perception that too many antibiotics are used to raise chickens, turkeys, hogs and cattle, they would certainly be turned off by the cell-cultured meat movement, said Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist in the department of animal science at University of California-Davis (UC-Davis). Mitloehner’s colleague told him that when working with cells, an extremely sterile environment is necessary. Mitloehner said he then asked him if antibiotics were used to create that sterile environment.

‘CUPS’ Protects Citrus From Greening, Storms

Universifty of Florida | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

A system designed to protect citrus trees from the deadly greening disease withstood the ravaging winds of Hurricane Irma last year, University of Florida scientists say. With reinforcements installed after the storm, they’ll likely withstand even more dangerous storms. Using Citrus Under Protective Screening, or “CUPS,” growers can keep the Asian citrus psyllid away from their trees, said Arnold Schumann, a professor of soil and water sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

$2M Missing at Minnesota grain elevator

Ag Web | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

A former grain elevator manager is on the run after allegedly pocketing $2 million from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. in west-central Minnesota. Jerry Hennessey used the money for hunting trips, taxidermy and paying his personal Cabela’s credit card. Initial investigations show Hennessey had been siphoning off funds while inflating grain inventories from the single-location grain co-op for at least a decade. But the issue came to head earlier this month and forced the co-op, which was established 110 years ago, to stop taking grain deliveries and close for business.

NASDA Debuts Model Preventive Controls for Animal Food Framework

NASDA | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is pleased to announce the debut of their Model Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food Implementation Framework. The document contains the fundamental and essential components for the operation of a state animal food safety program that can fully implement the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Control for Animal Food regulation.

Trump's dairy dilemma

Politico | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

The Trump administration wants any NAFTA 2.0 deal involving Canada to feature major concessions on dairy from America’s northern neighbor. The dairy standoff is one of the most challenging issues facing trade negotiators in each country because of political considerations on both sides of the border. Trudeau’s Liberal Party is vying to maintain its supporters in Ontario and Quebec, where the country’s powerful dairy industry is concentrated and provincial elections are approaching.

Small Refinery Exemptions and Ethanol Demand Destruction

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Energy News

Small refinery exemptions (SREs) represent the latest controversy to engulf the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).  When the U.S. Congress first created the RFS in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L.

Major U.S. trade groups link up in anti-tariff coalition

CBS | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations -- representing a wide swath of industries -- have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs. Americans for Free Trade, a group of more than 80 associations, said it represents thousands of businesses and workers.

New approach reduces antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter in poultry: study

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Food News

New research from a multi-institute scientific team in Canada showcases a synergistic antimicrobial mechanism using nanoparticles to reduce Campylobacter in poultry. Alternative antimicrobial strategies like this, say the authors, have the potential to reduce the prevalence of this microbe in agri-foods and avoid the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

N.M. beef plant expands into bison meat processing

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

A small New Mexico beef processing operation that opened its doors a year ago is adding bison meat packing in an effort to differentiate itself from larger competitors, according to a local news report. USA Beef Packing, based in Roswell, has signed a contract with a ranch near Amarillo, Texas, that will supply the bison and has agreed to pack the meat for retailers and distributors, the Roswell Daily Record reported.

African Swine Fever discovered in Belgium

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

African Swine Fever (ASF) has been confirmed in two wild boars in Belgium, in an area about eight miles from the border with France and 11 miles from the border with Luxembourg.

Fed survey finds concerns about rising trade tensions

AP | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The Federal Reserve reported  that its latest survey of business conditions nationwide found rising concerns over the impact Trump administration trade policies could have on the economy. The Fed’s 12 regional banks said the economy is growing at a moderate pace although three districts — Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City — depicted activity as somewhat below average.While businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, the Fed found worries about trade had prompted some businesses to scale back or postpone their capital investment plans.

CSP zeroed out in House Farm Bill

Daily Yonder | Posted on September 20, 2018 in Federal News

The Conservation Stewardship Program provides a 4 to 1 return on investment. The House version of the farm bill would eliminate the program.Eliminating a USDA program that helps farmers increase yields while protecting the environment would cost taxpayers billions of dollars in economic and ecological benefits, according to a study by conservation-minded scientists.  The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which currently helps U.S. landowners manage 72 million acres of agricultural land, is zeroed out in the House version of the farm bill.