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AgClips for December 21, 2017


Agclips for the week ending June 20, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Climate change has fish moving faster than regulations can keep up

Science Daily | Posted on June 20, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

The world's system for allocating fish stocks is being outpaced by the movement of fish species in response to climate change, according to a study undertaken by an international team of marine ecologists, fisheries and social scientists, and lawyers.

Humboldt man charged with felony after 250 dead cows, some stacked 10-ft-high, discovered on ranch

San Francisco Chronicle | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Authorities leveled multiple felony and misdemeanor charges on a Humboldt County man after investigators discovered hundreds of dead livestock on his ranch. Raymond Christie was charged with 35 counts, including seven misdemeanor charges and 28 counts for placing dead animal carcasses within 150 feet of state waters, according to a letter from Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming. Local, state and federal officials had discovered up to 300 deceased cows, some stacked in 10-foot-high piles or heaped in and near waterways, on four properties owned by Christie.

Salmonella outbreak in 31 states is linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, CDC says

CNN | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Food News

A salmonella outbreak that has caused illness in 73 people across 31 states is linked to Kellogg's Honey Smacks cereal, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.Just before the agency announced the outbreak,the Kellogg Co. announced a recall of 15.3-ounce and 23-ounce packages of the cereal with a "best if used by" date from June 14, 2018, through June 14, 2019, according to a statement.Twenty-four of the sick patients have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported, according to the CDC.

Natalie Portman documentary "Eating Animals" explores rise of so-called factory farming

CBS | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

cademy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman has graced the silver screen for the majority of her life, entertaining audiences at the age of 12 in her first film "Léon: The Professional" and continuing to make her mark on Hollywood through "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," "Black Swan" and "Jackie." Portman is also a longtime animal rights and environmental activist.  Her new documentary explores the rise of so-called factory farming in America and some of the potential alternatives to meat.

Dairy farms struggle even as Walmart milk plant opens

Ft Wayne Business Weekly | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Recent years have not been easy for the dairy industry, and Indiana’s milk producers welcome any help they will see from the processing plant Walmart just opened in Fort Wayne. More than 100 farmers across much of the country, including at least 25 in Indiana, were notified earlier this year that due to an oversupply of milk, their contracts with Dean Foods would not be renewed. They had until May 31 to find a new market for their milk. In Indiana, “they were scattered throughout the state,” said Doug Leman, executive director for Indiana Dairy Producers.

The FDA regulates food. USDA regulates meat. So who gets to regulate lab-grown meat?

The New Food Economy | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Federal, Food News

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its intent to regulate lab-grown meat—a declaration that provides some clues about how the federal government will treat a new technology that upends some notions about food and agriculture. In some ways, it’s unremarkable that lab-grown meat would fall under FDA’s purview. It’s the federal agency that’s already in charge of ensuring the safety of most foods, from Hot Pockets to baby carrots and coconut water. What is surprising, though, is FDA’s signaling that it wants domain over a meat product.

ASA: Trump’s $50 Billion Tariff announcement harsh reality for soybean growers

KMA Land | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Weeks of speculation have ended with new anxiety for growers of America’s leading agricultural export: President Trump announced today he is indeed levying 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. This decision not only inflames trade tensions between the two countries, but also means U.S. soybean growers, who shipped roughly $14 billion in soybeans last year to China – their number one export market – stand to quickly feel the impact of retaliatory tariffs. The American Soybean Association (ASA), on behalf of all U.S.

As Rural Towns Lose Population, They Can Learn To 'Shrink Smart'

NPR | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Rural News

Population loss like Sheffield's is happening in small towns across the U.S. "The big picture for all rural communities that don't have a connection to a growing metro area is that they are going to get smaller over time," says Kimberly Zarecor, associate professor of architecture at Iowa State University. Zarecor argues that towns like Sheffield shouldn't spend money trying to lure new residents to shore up their population numbers. She says instead, they should focus on making life better for the residents they still have.

Michigan now has nation's toughest rules for lead in drinking water

Detroit Free Press | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Michigan  began enforcing the nation's strictest rules for lead in drinking water, a plan that eventually will result in replacing all 500,000 lead service pipes statewide in the wake of the contamination of Flint's supply.The lead and copper rules will drop the "action level" for lead from 15 parts per billion, the federal limit, to 12 in 2025. Underground lead service lines connecting water mains to houses and other buildings will be replaced by 2040, unless a utility can show regulators it will take longer under a broader plan to repair and replace its water infrastructure.

Ag Groups Tweet #TradeNotTariffs

DTN | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Farm groups took to social media on Thursday as part of a last-ditch effort to get the Trump administration to back off trade tariffs the administration is expected to implement against China on Friday. The groups fear China could bounce right back with tariffs against U.S. agricultural commodities. The farm groups, led by the American Soybean Association, started tweeting out with other business groups under the hashtag #TradeNotTariffs.

Groups Press Pruitt

DTN | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Pruitt met with a coalition of Nebraska farm groups called Common Sense Nebraska as part of a trip this week through the Midwest that included stops in Kansas and South Dakota. Pruitt may have wanted to focus on waters of the U.S., but Pruitt spent most of the Nebraska meeting answering questions about the Renewable Fuels Standard, E15 and small refinery waivers. The themes were similar with the events in South Dakota and Kansas.

High-protein corn also resistant to parasitic weed

Science Daily | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

In sub-Saharan Africa, 20 to 80% of corn yields may be lost because of a semi-parasitic plant, Striga. In areas infested with Striga, farmers may even lose their entire crops. In a new study, researchers from southern Africa identified several varieties of corn resistant or tolerant to Striga. Importantly, these varieties also have improved nutritional content, particularly protein.

Engineered cotton uses weed-suppression chemical as nutrient

Science Daily | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

A newly developed fertilizer system will provide nutrition to engineered cotton crops worldwide and a deadly dose to weeds that are increasingly herbicide resistant, according to a new study. The new system applies phosphite to cotton crops engineered to express a certain gene -- a gene that makes cotton able to process the phosphite into nutrition while the same compound suppresses weeds that are unable to use it, researchers said.

Progress and Potential Hurdles for the 2018 Farm Bill

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on June 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The odds for a farm bill in 2018 have improved considerably. On Wednesday the Senate Ag Committee moved its version of a farm bill with a strong bipartisan vote (20 to 1). House leadership is attempting to resolve the immigration issue that contributed to the House Ag Committee's farm bill defeat on the floor. This may pave the way for a House vote reconsidering the farm bill, but success remains uncertain.

FDA’s advice to footnote ‘added sugars’ gets tart replies

Capital Press | Posted on June 18, 2018 in Federal, Food News

The Food and Drug Administration has been flooded this month with sour comments about its plan to require honey, maple syrup and cranberry products to include “added sugars” on nutrition labels.Remarks from New England maple syrup makers have been particularly bitter. They say they don’t “add” sugar to their naturally sugary product. “The only thing the producers do is evaporate water from the sap of this liquid gold,” one commented.The FDA counters that consumers should know how much “added sugar” maple syrup adds to pancakes.

H7N9 could be next deadly pandemic

Newsweek | Posted on June 18, 2018 in Rural News

A deadly new strain of bird flu threatens to become a worldwide pandemic, health officials warn. Britain’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam says the strain, which has already killed one-third of infected patients in China, could be the feared Disease X, an unknown pathogen that could cause an international health crisis. The H7N9 avian flu virus has infected 1,600 people and killed more than 600 in China since October 2016. Most of the infected came in contact with contaminated poultry, the World Health Organization said.

Human activity is causing more and more animals to embrace the night

Science Magazine | Posted on June 18, 2018 in News

As humans encroach more and more on wildlife habitats, animals are finding that the best way to survive isn’t to pack up and move—it’s to embrace the night life. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which shows that a variety of previously diurnal animals such as foxes, deer, and boars have become nocturnal to avoid human activity out of fear. But this nighttime switch comes with its own risks.

USMEF says Mexico's retalitory tariffs could cost $1billion

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

The loss of market share in Mexico, the top foreign market for U.S. pork, as a result of its retaliatory tariffs will lower the value of U.S. pork because products that will not go to Mexico would be absorbed by other markets and the domestic market — at lower prices, USMEF said. “Looking only at ham prices, the drop in the primal value could translate into losses to the industry of more than $300 million for the remainder of the year, which would be roughly $600 million over the next year,” the report states. “Picnics are the other primal likely to be impacted.

Mountaire Farms formally targeted in class action lawsuit

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

A consent decree Mountaire Farms reached with Delaware environmental officials last week is formally being challenged by a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 700 local residents. The lawsuit against the Millsboro, Del.-based processor claims that the consent decree with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is “wholly inadequate” in addressing what the suit calls Mountaire’s inadequate treatment of wastewater from its poultry plant.

FDA plans meeting on meat from cultured cells

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 18, 2018 in Food News

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a July 12 meeting to discuss issues around the production and regulation of foods created from culturing animal cells. The meeting comes as more companies seek ways to develop “meat” and other foods without conventional farming practices, and as even traditional meat processors invest more in such companies. The trend has launched a debate about what can be defined as meat, how “cultured” products can be marketed and how they will be regulated.

Initial Review of the Senate Ag Committee's Draft 2018 Farm Bill

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Federal News

The Senate Ag Committee draft bill contains reauthorizations for all twelve titles from the 2014 Farm Bill, much of which constitutes fairly straight-forward extensions of authorizations and funds, some with minor modifications. The Senate draft bill also includes reauthorization of the programs in the energy title which was eliminated by the House Ag Committee bill.

Trump, Oil of Less Concern Than Climate Change for Top Companies

Bloomberg | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Energy News

The world’s biggest companies are increasingly worried about climate change. The terms “climate” and “weather” combined were among the most frequently discussed topics among executives of Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, beating “Trump,” “the dollar,” “oil” and “recession” according to analysis of 10 years of earnings call transcripts by S&P Global Ratings. “The effect of climate risk and severe weather events on corporate earnings is meaningful,” S&P said in the joint report with Hamilton, Bermuda-based Resilience Economics Ltd.

U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture

Choices magazine | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Agriculture News

The United States and China, the world’s largest economic powers, have dueled in an escalating trade dispute since January 2018. This ever-changing story continues to evolve, with additional tariffs announced by the United States as we go to press in late May 2018. Given this recent dispute that has moved agriculture from the back pages to the front pages of media, Choices publishes this special issue on “U.S.-China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture.” This trade dispute is important to U.S.

School’s Closed. Forever.

The New York Times | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Rural News

What happens to a rural town after it loses its only school? Arena, Wis., is about to find out.  Arena Elementary is the second small rural elementary school in two years to close in the district, nearly 300 square miles of rolling pastures and dairy farms in southwestern Wisconsin. The one in the neighboring village of Lone Rock closed last spring. The district now has just one open public elementary school, in Spring Green, nine miles away.The same scene is playing out across rural America.

Why rural Americans are far less optimistic about their financial future

Market Watch | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Rural News

cross the country, Americans’ anxiety about their finances is worsening. And rural residents are far more pessimistic about their financial prospects. Only 36% of Americans living in rural counties — who don’t earn enough to pay for the lifestyle they want — believed that situation would improve in the future, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. Comparatively, nearly half of those living in urban and suburban areas who were in the same boat were optimistic about their financial futures.

‘BE’ label launch may cost more than feds yearly spend on food safety

Food Safety News | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Food News

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue meanwhile is rolling out the new rules for labeling genetically engineered foods. The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS) as adopted by Congress requires food manufacturers to label food for retail sales to include information about bioengineered (BE) food and food ingredients. According to a 114-page economic analysis, additional costs for the initial year of labeling is going to cost the food industry and ultimately consumers $600 million to $3.5 billion.

Cheese plant wants OK to dump 2M gallons of waste water into Big Sioux each day

Argus Leader | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

A Hamlin County cheese manufacturer expanding its operations needs a permit from the South Dakota environmental office to dump millions of gallons of waste water per day into the Big Sioux River. But environmental buffs and officials with several water systems in the region say the move could put drinking water supplies downstream at risk.Wisconsin-based Agropur earlier this year began a substantial expansion to its facility in Lake Norden that would increase its ability to process milk by six million pounds per day.

Trump orders Perry to stop coal, nuclear retirements

Utility Dive | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Energy News

President Trump directed Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to stop the closure of coal and nuclear plants, pushed offline by cheaper electricity from natural gas and renewables. The president told Perry to “prepare immediate steps” to stop the plants from retiring, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, adding that “impending retirements of fuel-secure power facilities are leading a rapid depletion of a critical part of our nation’s energy mix, and impacting the resilience of our power grid."

Texas couple won’t abide by state’s definition of a pickle

Capital Press | Posted on June 13, 2018 in Food, SARL Members and Alumni News

A Texas couple claims in a lawsuit filed Thursday that burdensome state regulations have put them in a pickle because they’re prevented from supplementing their income by selling more of their produce at farmers’ markets. Jim and Anita McHaney argue in their lawsuit filed against the Texas Department of State Health Services that the so-called cottage food law only permits them to sell one pickled item: cucumbers.The law governs the sale of produce, pies and other goods at places like markets and fairs.

Employment training costs designed to reduce SNAP participation are vastly underestimated

Ag Policy | Posted on June 13, 2018 in News

While it is clear that the Senate will not include large cuts to SNAP in its version of the farm bill, we do think it is important to take a closer look at the language that fractured the bipartisanship that usually accompanies the farm bill. The changes to SNAP proposed by the legislation before the House would affect all able-bodied adults 18-59 years old who are not caring for a pre-school child.