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AgClips for December 28, 2017


Agclips for the week ending January 19, 2018

This Week's AgClips

MacAulay takes case for NAFTA to U.S. farmers

Manitoba Cooperator | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Lawrence MacAulay’s speech in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was well received by an estimated 5,000 people attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee Jan. 7. The bureau, the United States’ largest farm organization, also supports NAFTA.“My message to you this morning is the Government of Canada is committed to working with you to strengthen Canada-U.S.

Pa. road map for agriculture's future comes 'at critical intersection' for the industry

Penn Live | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Pennsylvania's agricultural industry is among the most diverse and powerful in the nation. And yet that industry faces its share of changes and challenges -- in technology, consumer tastes and a rapidly changing workforce; as well as opportunities.

Salmon escape leads Cooke into legal fight with Washington state | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The escape of more than 160,000 salmon from a Cooke Aquaculture pen in Washington last year has led to a legal battle between the company and the state. Cooke Aquaculture Pacific is challenging a decision by the state's Department of Natural Resources to terminate the company's ease to operate a salmon farm in Port Angeles, about 128 kilometres west of Seattle.

Robust Corn, Soybean Production Make Exports Increasingly Important

Illinois Farm Policy News | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Dr. Cowley explained that, “Although farm income appears to have stabilized in the short to longer term, one risk to the outlook has been growing supplies. Yields for corn and soybeans have been above 20-year trend levels since 2014 and have contributed to increasing inventories.” “In addition, soybean inventories have doubled since 2015. Growth in U.S.

Pet Translator: Scientist Developing Device To Convert Dog Barks Into English Language

Tech Times | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

An AI algorithm can convert the vocalizations of prairie dogs into English. Now, animal behavior expert Con Slobodchikoff is working on a pet translator that can translate a dog's barks into human language.The idea of humans being able to talk to and understand animals may soon become a reality. A researcher is working on a device that may be used as a pet language translator in the future.

New Mexico proposes pet food fee to help spay, neuter pets

Pet Food Industry | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

New Mexico lawmakers proposed a bill that would raise the registration fee pet food manufacturers pay. The bill would raise the fee from US$2 to US$100 for each product sold in New Mexico. 

Owner of Virginia seafood company charged with conspiracy

WBJ7 | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Food News

The owner of a Virginia seafood company has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by mixing foreign crab meat with Atlantic blue crab, then labeling the blended seafood and selling it to customers as a U.S. product.

Farmers post record crop for soybeans, peanuts, canola, hops

1101 Now | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers have harvested record crops for soybeans, peanuts, canola, rapeseed and hops. The agency released its annual crop production report Friday summarizing the 2017 crop year.It shows that peanut production jumped 30 percent to 7.2 billion pounds. Production of hops, a main ingredient in beer, grew 20 percent as Idaho's production surpassed Oregon's for the first time.

Ga. Will Need To Ease Regulations, Provide Cash To Expand Rural Broadband

WABE | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Georgia lawmakers said they want to expand access to the Internet. Internet service providers have said with the repeal of net neutrality, they’re more inclined to invest in rural areas, but it’s not clear companies will invest without public dollars. Georgia lawmakers have prioritized expanding internet access through the Rural Development Council, said state Rep. Ed Setzler.

Michigan landowners’ long-shot lawsuit has high stakes for wind industry

Midwest Energy News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Energy News

An unlikely legal win by neighbors of a Michigan wind farm would have the potential to chill wind energy development in the state, legal experts say. A group of landowners filed suit in state court in August alleging a wind project near Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula is causing adverse health effects.

Low gas prices set to drive decline in coal generation

Utility Dive | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Energy News

U.S. natural gas production is expected to reach the highest year-over-year increase in 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration’s new Short-term Energy Outlook (STEO).

New England congressional delegations submit bill to ban offshore drilling

Maine Press Herald | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Federal News

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives from New England has introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities off New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.It’s a response to the Trump administration’s planto open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.

New Approach to Curb Chronic Wasting Disease

Public News Service | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, Rural News

Montana is wrestling with the best way to manage Chronic Wasting Disease among deer, elk and moose.  One wildlife specialist maintains preserving predators is the answer. Under its current plan, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set up survey hunts of deer to determine where hotbeds of CWD are located. The state's second survey hunt in north central Montana began last weekend, and lasts through Feb. 15.

Sustainability on Michigan farms

Michigan State University | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

In this six part series, we are discovering what sustainability on Michigan farms means, looking at examples of how farms are demonstrating that sustainability and how exploring how MSU Extension is working with producers to become even more sustainable. This sixth article’s sustainability topic addresses the “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole” portion. If there is anything that is as hard to get an agreement upon as the definition of sustainability, it would be the definition of quality of life.

Prairie dog endangered-species plan eases rules under Trump

The Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Federal, Rural News

Wildlife managers under the Trump administration are moving to loosen endangered-species protections for Utah prairie dogs, flipping the script in a long-running conflict over federal policies in a town where residents say they’re overrun by the creatures.The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan would allow prairie dogs to be killed or removed from private property more often, relaxing regulations designed to protect the species.

US Supreme Court Won't Hear Prairie Dog Protections Lawsuit

US News and World Report | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Federal, Rural News

The U.S. Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from Utah property owners challenging endangered-species protections for prairie dogs, but the plaintiffs say the case has nevertheless made a mark as the Trump administration moves to loosen the rules.The lawsuit was a key driver of the new federal plan that would make it easier to remove or kill prairie dogs when they interfere with development of homes and business, lawyers for the residents of the southwestern city of Cedar City said Monday.

America's Rural Hospitals Are Dangerously Fragile

The Atlantic | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

This is the story of a small-town, publicly-owned hospital that, after thriving for decades, is struggling and now in all likelihood about to be appended to a large regional health-care system. The tale of Berger Municipal Hospital is, like that of many sectors of the American economy, one defined by industrial consolidation and the costs that come with it. Last November, however, Circleville’s voters chose another direction, one that, in other places, has resulted in an economic hit to the community—mostly in the form of job losses and stagnant wages—as well as a lowered quality of care.

Electronic logging device rule could hurt livestock industry

Ag Week | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

 Truckers hauling livestock have received a 90-day waiver from the Electronic Logging Device, or ELD, mandate, but the industry is hoping for a longer-term solution.The rule went into effect on Dec. 18 for most operators, but the U.S. Department of Transportation delayed the regulation for those transporting livestock until mid-March.The new regulations require certain drivers to install Electronic Logging Devices on their trucks. Also included are hours of service restrictions on truckers, limiting them to 11 hours of driving daily, after 10 hours off duty.

FDA releases guidance on FSMA 'enforcement discretion'

Meat + Poultry | Posted on January 17, 2018 in News

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released guidance detailing four provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) the agency won’t enforce. In a statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb explained that the agency intends to exercise “enforcement discretion” in four FSMA rules while the agency addresses issues that have made implementation of the food safety law problematic for industry stakeholders.

Can rural towns stem the trend of population decline?

High Country News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

“I’m really into formulas,” says Choteau Area Port Authority board member Blair Patton. “People who are successful know the formula. You do not have a successful small community accidentally. There is a focused, purposeful action that leads into that.” The downward population trend and the loss of school-age children and jobs that support families are forcing Choteau and other rural Montana communities to think strategically about confronting and reversing these declines.The Choteau community has been proactive through the years.

How to turn a struggling small town around

High Country News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

This story is the first installment of a three-part series focusing on the challenges and solutions for affordable housing in Boulder, Montana.rom that work came ten goals and strategies for implementing those goals.

The ‘scenery economy’ reinvigorates a Montana town

High Country News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

As the holiday season gets its start on a clear morning in late November, Main Street here looks like something out of a Hallmark movie. A window washer cleans down storefronts along blocks of historic brick buildings — a candy store, a microbrewery, coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores. Wreaths hang off ornate light posts. The surrounding hills are scattered with snow. Banners hung from windows and balconies celebrate the high school football team, the Titans, which has won a state 8-man class championship the previous weekend. This was a much different scene a quarter century ago.

World Food Prize protesters get $50,000 payout after being shunted out of sight

Des Moines Register | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Food News

Iowa taxpayers will pay a $50,000 settlement to end a lawsuit filed by anti-GMO activists who claim state officials violated their First Amendment rights.

City’s synthetic pesticide ban not based on science

Portland Press Herald | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

The synthetic pesticide ban recently approved by the Portland City Council may create an “organic” city, but it won’t create a green city or a beautiful city. The people of Portland may like ticks, mosquitoes and flies. They are excellent food for birds and fish. Rather than tidy green lawns and colorful gardens, yards can be paved or gravel. They won’t need synthetic pesticides, but you can’t paint them green because you’ll need synthetic paint!As a scientist, I find it disappointing that the City Council voted based upon emotion and scare tactics by activists rather than scientific data.

ow gene editing can revolutionize feeding the world

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

The outcomes possible with different types of precision breeding today might have seemed impossible just a few decades ago and these new opportunities have strong implications for both producers and consumers.

Dairy outlook not promising for 2018

edairynews | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

The short-term dairy outlook for 2018 appears grim as prices are expected to drop during the first quarter before rebounding in the second half of the year.Mark Stephenson, said “The (low) 2018 milk price is going to feel a whole lot like 2016 was,” he said. “It’s one of the longest price cycles we’ve ever had. It’s not brutal in its depth, but brutal in its length.” Stephenson described the situation as a “long scrape” as opposed to a deep cut.

Wisconsin farmers hope millennials will take over for the 500 dairy farms lost in 2017

edairynews | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Over the last several years, Wisconsin has seen thousands of dairy farmers leave the industry. New statistics show the state lost more than 500 farms in 2017. Remaining farmers are trying to attract college students to continue the tradition of being America’s Dairyland.“As an industry, we have to figure out how we’re going to be able to have farms of all sizes and allow those farms to be profitable and how we can get the next generation of farmers on our farms,” said Mystic Valley farmer Mitch Breunig.

Lawsuit: Cal-Maine, Walmart used false claim on organic egg label

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

 class-action lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Cal-Maine Foods, with the plaintiffs claiming the two companies misled consumers about the conditions in which hens that laid Walmart store brand Organic Marketside eggs were raised.

How to turn motorized rec into a sustainable economy

High Country News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

Mining and ranching is the main economy of Challis, Idaho. When the Thompson Creek Mining Company, a molybdenum mine west of Challis, ended their mining operations in 2014, the bust in the economy rattled the community. At its peak, the molybdenum mine employed around 400 people, accounting for more than half of Custer County’s tax roll. Today, around 50 remain. “They were the largest employer but now they are probably the second largest,” said Greg Webster, owner of The Bent Rod outdoor store and president of Challis’ Chamber of Commerce.

USDA report shows record corn yield, soybean production in 2017

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

The Department of Agriculture released market-shifting reports on Friday, largely showing robust production in 2017 adding to an already solid amount of stocks on hand around the world. The reports noted records in U.S. corn yield and soybean production, all the while pointing to global stocks that don’t show any signs of providing relief for low commodity prices.In the Department’s annual Crop Production report, soybean production and harvested acreage both hit record amounts in 2017, coming in at 4.39 billion bushels and 89.5 million acres.