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AgClips for December 28, 2017


Agclips for the week ending October 15, 2018

This Week's AgClips

USMCA Paves the Way for Biotech Innovation

Biotech Now | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

fter more than a year of high-stakes drama, the U.S. has inked an updated trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, otherwise known as the USMCA, has achieved an important step in bringing our neighboring countries closer to high U.S. intellectual property standards that have made us the world leader in biotechnology innovation.“The USMCA sets important new standards for U.S.

Energy Companies In Alaska Fight Controversial Salmon Initiative

NPR | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Energy, Rural News

In Alaska, a ballot measure is cutting right to the heart of the state's identity. It's pitting Alaskans' love for salmon against another powerful force - the oil and mining industries. The ballot measure pits the state's love for salmon against its need for oil and mining revenue. The controversial measure has drawn more money than all three gubernatorial candidates combined.

Trump trade war delivers farm boom in Brazil, gloom in Iowa

Reuters | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The Bella Vita luxury condominium tower rises 20 stories over the boomtown of Luís Eduardo Magalhaes in northeastern Brazil. Its private movie theater and helipad are symbols of how far this dusty farming community has come since it was founded just 18 years ago. Local soybean producers shell out upward of a half-million U.S. dollars to live in the complex. Nearby farm equipment sellers, car dealerships and construction supply stores are bustling.Nearly 5,000 miles to the north in Boone, Iowa, farmers are hunkering down.

5 ways drones will change agriculture

Knowable Magazine | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Not long ago, drones on a farm meant male bees, essential for a healthy hive. But like catfishcloud and viraldrone has taken on a new meaning in the age of high tech. Drones — the small flying robot variety — are ushering in a new agricultural revolution, says information specialist Gerard Sylvester, editor of a new report on drones and farming by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union.

Migrant workers in Indiana: They harvest our food, but risk labor trafficking

Indianapolis Star | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

The migrant workers, still soaked with sweat, lumber off an old school bus an hour before midnight and slowly file toward a cluster of mobile homes set back from the highway that cuts through this Knox County farm town.

Billionaire-Backed Fund Invests in Pivot Bio’s $70m Series B to Address ‘One of Largest Sources of GHGs on Planet’

Ag Funder News | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the $1 billion fund focused on accelerating the world’s transition to clean energy, has invested in the $70 million Series B round for Pivot Bio. Pivot Bio is an agtech startup producing microbes that are applied to crops to make nitrogen available to them and could reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers. Singapore state fund Temasek also joined the round as a new investor. Noticeably absent from the investor line-up was Bayer Growth Ventures, the post-merger version of Monsanto Growth Ventures, which invested in Pivot Bio at Series A.

Many Native IDs Won't Be Accepted At North Dakota Polling Places

NPR | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Native American groups in North Dakota are scrambling to help members acquire new addresses, and new IDs, in the few weeks remaining before Election Day — the only way that some residents will be able to vote. This week, the Supreme Court declined to overturn North Dakota's controversial voter ID law, which requires residents to show identification with a current street address. A P.O. box does not qualify.Many Native American reservations, however, do not use physical street addresses. Native Americans are also overrepresented in the homeless population.

Why don’t anti-Indian groups count as hate groups?

High Country News | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Federal News

This weekend, anti-government activists will converge on Whitefish, Montana, for the “New Code of the West” conference — a symposium catering to Western conspiracy theorists and extremists. Speakers range from Ammon Bundy, leader of the 2016 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation in Oregon, to state legislators Montana Rep. Kerry White and Washington Rep. Matt Shea.

USDA provides new certificates for imported organics

USDA | Posted on October 15, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The National Organic Program (NOP) facilitates international trade for U.S. organic farms and businesses wanting to export organic products. Some foreign governments require specific documents, such as export certificates, before accepting organic products from the U.S. USDA organic certifiers provide export certificates for certified organic products shipped outside the U.S. Export certificates provide key information for farm-to-market traceability of traded organic products.

3 Nebraska farmers to plead guilty in $10.9 million organic grain fraud scheme

Omaha World Herald | Posted on October 13, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

Three Nebraska farmers will plead guilty to knowingly marketing non-organic corn and soybeans as certified organic as part of a lengthy, multi-million-dollar fraud scheme.Tom Brennan, his son James Brennan and family friend Michael Potter have each agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud.

As milk prices decline, worries about dairy farmer suicides rise

KAKE | Posted on October 13, 2018 in Agriculture, Rural News

Kansas dairy farmers are used to dealing with hard times, but as they struggle through the fourth year of depressed milk prices, they too have become down.Orville and Mary Jane Miller have been dairy farmers their entire lives. Mary Jane's father passed the farm in Reno County down to them, and they plan to pass it on to their son. “It's very demanding, my wife starts at 1:30 a.m. milking cows. There's a calf born nearly every other day. There's just a lot happening all the time,” said Orville Miller.

Simba The Lab To Provide Comfort To Kids In Court

Vernon Hills Patch | Posted on October 13, 2018 in Rural News

Simba is the nation's first dog to be assigned to a county public defender's office. While the name Simba might remind most of us of a beloved cartoon lion, kids at the Depke Juvenile Justice Complex will meet another Simba whose purpose is to comfort them. The 2-year-old Labrador retriever is assigned to the guardian ad litem office, which advocates for kids' best interests. Simba has one mission, and it's a lucky one. "His job is to be petted," said Kathy Gordon, an assistant public defender and guardian ad litem, according to the Daily Herald.

State Branding Programs and Local Food Purchases

Choices Magazine | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Previous research on U.S. consumers details how the products they buy and where they make food purchases are changing. For example, in 1990, 80% of food for at-home consumption was purchased at supermarkets; by 2014, that number dropped to 65% (Ver Ploeg, Larimore and Wilde, 2017). The USDA Economic Research Service has calculated food at home expenditures since 1987, and annual data are available starting in 1929. In their calculation, production value or sales is equal to total expenditures.

The narrative of renewal: If we can't mine coal, what are we going to do?

Daily Yonder | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Energy News

“EPA = Expanding Poverty in America.”  This statement is written in three-foot-high letters on a banner stretched over a bandstand in a public park in Pikeville, Kentucky. It is June 2012 and I am just starting production of the After Coal documentary. The crowd around me is dressed in the reflective stripes of mining uniforms or in T-shirts reading Friends of Coal and Walker Heavy Machinery.

Opioid overdose rate by county 2012-2016

Daily Yonder | Posted on October 11, 2018 in News

If you’ve got a couple minutes, Michael Meit has a favor to ask. He’ll try not to take up too much of your time.  “What I want is for people to go to the online tool, click on their county, pull up that 8 ½-by-11 fact sheet, and send it to all their local elected officials, health department staff, medical personnel, and others,” Meit said.  And? “Start a community dialog about drug overdose deaths in their community,” Meit said.

Could TV Whitespace Get Real With Microsoft Initiative

Daily Yonder | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Rural News

Terrain, demographics, trees, hills, politics, and low population density all conspire to block rural residents from getting easy internet access.  Could that be changing? A year ago Microsoft announced its Airband Initiative, an effort to move TV whitespaces from a good idea to a working technology. The project coordinates smaller Internet service providers, manufacturers, and software vendors around the new technology. Some early signs hint at future successes.

Changing housing market, timber glut limit prices

Mississippi State | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture, Rural News

Housing start fluctuations and an abundance of timber are limiting the ceiling on stumpage prices in Mississippi now, but expect the market to improve when sawmills begin stocking up for winter. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau National, home construction dropped 13 percent from May to June, which is considered a significant decrease.

We'll regret bypassing local shops for sake of a few bucks

Madison | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

We American consumers are a fickle lot.I was reminded of that again last week when a family-owned local grocery chain announced it is calling it quits after decades serving the Chicago market.The few giant national chains, the product of years of cutthroat consolidation, did them in, just as they have done in thousands of mom-and-pop stores across the land, including here in Wisconsin.All for the sake of saving a buck or two, shoppers unwittingly rush to the latest mega-store while the small businesses that have served as the bedrock of American commerce for centuries drop by the wayside.On

What would the loss of 2-4D impact? | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was first marketed to control broadleaf weeds in 1945 and since that time has become one of the most widely used herbicides in the world. 2,4-D formulations include esters, acids, and several salts (WHO 1989). The dimethyl-amine salt (DMA) and 2-ethylhexyl ester (EHE) formulations account for approximately 90-95% of its total global use (Charles et al. 2001).The loss of access to 2,4-D would most certainly force applicators to switch to more expensive alternative herbicides and would likely result in decreased crop yields.

Why Oceanside’s Measure Y hurts farmers

San Diego Union Tribune | Posted on October 11, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

It may not seem like it, but San Diego County is a farming community.That phrase, “farming community,” may conjure up images of old-timey black and white photos of tractors tilling up huge fields in what may now be a suburban neighborhood. Yet local agriculture continues to be important today.But our farming community is not without challenges. The most urgent challenge is Oceanside’s Measure Y, a ballot initiative that could spell the end of local farming.

Oil industry, green groups join to oppose Trump’s ethanol plan

The Hill | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Energy, Federal News

President Trump is creating strange bedfellows with his proposal to expand ethanol sales, with some environmental groups and the oil industry opposing the new rule. The groups have different reasons for pushing back against Trump’s plan to remove a key barrier to selling gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15), but both say it’s a bad policy and are contemplating suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if it is finalized.Trump on Tuesday directed the EPA to craft a regulation that would allow for sales of E15 year-round.

NY to invest $40M in solar energy storage technology

Miami Herald | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Energy News

New York state is investing $40 million in technology that stores energy from solar power. The office of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the funding decision. The money will support solar power projects around the state that are designed to ensure energy derived from the sun can be stored for use when demand is greatest. That can reduce the need for other, less environmentally friendly forms of power.Cuomo has set a goal for the state to generate half of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Trade and a frog

OFW law | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The U.S. trade deficit rose in August to $53.2 billion. That’s up $3.2 billion. A decline in soybean and oil exports is what pulled us down. China is not buying our beans – at least, not now. Their companies don’t want to pay the 25% tariff imposed by China on our beans. There is some good news. USA Rice Chairman Charley Mathews, Jr. is cheering a big purchase – 90,000 metric tons of rice by Iraq. That is triple what they had been buying. The National Pork Producers Council is praising President Trump for announcing that the U.S. and Japan are to begin trade talks.

Ex-EPA chief: Trump will pollute your air and make you pay for it

CNN | Posted on October 11, 2018 in News

With the Trump administration taking steps to roll back America's clean-cars standards, states are preparing for what is sure to be an epic legal battle over states' authority to protect their citizens from dangerous pollution. In the latest escalation in their fight against the Trump administration, California regulators have approved new measures to defend the state's vehicle emissions standards.We should all be rooting for these regulators.

Blind focus on ‘energy dominance’ may cripple Endangered Species Act

The Hill | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Energy News

The bald eagle, sea otter, timber wolf — these iconic animals and more have been saved by the Endangered Species Act (ESA). But the Trump administration doesn't seem to care about our country's natural heritage. It's using questionable arguments about the popular law in an effort to gut protections and convert our public lands into private assets. The administration's destructive intent is apparent in the proposed revisions to the ESA by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.

U.S. not invited to Canada’s upcoming trade meeting — only ‘like minded’ nations allowed

Global News | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

Canada has not included the United States in an upcoming meeting aimed at saving the international trading system because it doesn’t share the views of the 13 invited countries, says the new Canadian trade minister. Canada will host senior ministers from 13 “like-minded” countries for a two-day discussion in Ottawa later this month to brainstorm ways to reform the World Trade Organization, said Jim Carr, Canada’s newly appointed international trade diversification minister.

Peoples Company, Stine Seed offer a paid-in-full cover crop program to land owners

Michigan Farm News | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

Iowa-based land brokerage firm Peoples Company, offering management, investment and appraisal services in 20 states, is partnering with Stine Seed, the largest independent corn and soybean seed company, and one of the most-recognized corn and soybean seed brands, to offer land owners a “paid-in-full, managed cover crops program.” According to a press release announcing the cover crop partnership program, the initiative will demonstrate to land owners that it’s possible to simultaneously protect environmentally sensitive acres, maximize yield on the productive acres and improve overall retur

Minnesota provides grants for milk coolers

Minnesota Department of Agriculture | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced that its Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) Milk Cooler Grants are now available. The MDA will award up to $22,500 to eligible institutions to increase the use of Minnesota dairy by adding milk coolers to their nutrition programs. “Our goal is to invest in schools and early care and education organizations so they can buy and serve more Minnesota dairy,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson. “Dairy is a good source of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

U.S. dairy experts cast doubts on Canadian trade deal ending deep slump for American farmers

Journal Sentinel | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture, Energy, Federal News

U.S. dairy farmers remain hopeful that a new trade deal with Canada could help lift them out of a deep slump, but some are casting doubt that it will make much of a difference in an American market flooded with milk. The deal, announced Monday by President Donald Trump, is “more of the same,” except it hurts Canadian farmers, said Jim Goodman, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of the National Family Farm Coalition.“Canadian family farms will go out of business, and Canadian dairy farmers will see their incomes fall due to increased U.S. imports.

Happy National 4-H Week

Ag Daily | Posted on October 11, 2018 in Agriculture News

Millions of 4-H students, parents, and volunteers will celebrate the 76th consecutive National 4-H Week. The festivities run from Oct. 7 through 13; you can find the 4-H youth and alumni sharing the theme, Inspire Kids to Do. This year’s theme hopes to inspire the youth to take advantage of opportunities, empower them with the skills they need to succeed in life and their future career. 4-H gives today’s youth the tools to pursue their passion while creating their own course.

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