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AgClips for December 28, 2017


Agclips for the week ending July 17, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Is hemp the future of NC agriculture?

The Fayetteville Observer | Posted on July 16, 2018 in News

The farmers hope hemp will become the next big cash crop, one that can provide alternative or additional revenue to traditional crops such as tobacco, cotton, grains and the ornamental plants that Averitt sells.  “It might stand to be a lot more profitable than the nursery,” Averitt said. “Anything — anything helps.” But first, Averitt and other American farmers have to learn how to grow hemp in commercial quantities and quality. America stopped growing industrial hemp about 60 years ago. The knowledge and skills to do it have faded.

U.S. trade, immigration and biofuel policies hit farmers hard

U.S. News & World Report | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture News

Even before the specter of a trade war with China and other countries threatened to cost them billions of dollars, American farmers were feeling the squeeze from fluctuating crop prices and other factors that have halved their overall income in recent years. The threat of counter-tariffs on U.S. farm goods and the impact of President Donald Trump's other policies on immigration and biofuels, though, have some farmers more worried than ever about their ability to continue eking out an existence in agriculture.

USDA Ends Report Access for Media

DTN | Posted on July 16, 2018 in News

In a surprise move that caught media outlets flatfooted, USDA announced Tuesday that the agency would end its more than a century-old practice of "lockup" events ahead of the release of USDA reports, such as the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and crop and livestock production reports.

Mobile Food Banks Roll to Isolated, Rural Poor

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on July 16, 2018 in News

On a recent sultry summer afternoon, 81-year-old widow Nellie Allen sat on the porch of her one-story brick home, one in a strip of government-subsidized houses surrounded by fields and country roads. Allen makes do on $900 a month from Social Security. She raised four kids and never worked outside the home. She doesn’t drive, so she can’t get to the nearest grocery store, which is several miles away.

Missouri governor signs law banning marriage of 15-year-olds

The Kansas City Star | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Rural News

Missouri — long the easiest state in the nation for 15-year-olds to wed — has outlawed the practice. Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed into law Senate Bill 655. Before, Missouri was one of 25 states with no minimum marriage age. And Missouri was the only state that allowed children age 15 to marry with only one parent’s approval, even if the other parent objected. Children younger than 15 needed a judge’s approval.

Public overwhelmingly favors term ‘lab-grown’ over ‘clean’ meat

Food Safety News | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Food News

Consumer Reports, published by the 7 million-member nonprofit Consumers Union, last week reported on survey results showing the public expects laboratory-produced meat from cultured animal cells to be clearly labeled. The results show the public favors different language that those pushing the new products.  “By an overwhelming margin, our survey found that consumers want clear labels identifying meat produced in the lab from cultured animal cells,” said Dr.

California awards $69.9 million for dairy digester projects

Biomass Magazine | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture, Energy News

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $69.9 million in grant funding to 40 dairy digester projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy farms. Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals.

Wisconsin dairy farms no longer burning, burying plastics, thanks to recycling company

Herald Times Reporter | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture, Rural News

Wisconsin farms use and dispose of hundreds to thousands of pounds of plastic items each year, but only a small portion of it is accepted by many recycling centers.  That is why Revolution Plastics has stepped up to accept agriculture plastics like silage bags, bale wraps and oxygen barriers that other recycling centers are unable to.   "Ag plastics used on Wisconsin dairy farms come covered in silage, mud and sometimes manure."  said Price Murphy, director of operations for Revolution Plastics. "Feed, in particular, leaves distinct aroma on the plastics that is hard to get out.

Key step forward for game-changing grass

Feedstuffs | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture News

In New Zealand, an important milestone has been reached in AgResearch’s development of a new-generation grass that could prove to be a game changer for agriculture. With funding from the government of New Zealand and industry partners, including DairyNZ, the genetically modified, high-metabolizable energy (HME) ryegrass has been shown in AgResearch’s laboratories to grow up to 50% faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought and to produce as much as 23% less methane from livestock

Arms Race Gets Unleashed Over Crop Data

Ag Web | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture News

It’s the sort of edge any trader would covet -- and one the authorities were actually hoping to prevent. Yet the U.S. Department of Agriculture may well be clearing the way for some Wall Street speed demons to trade on market-moving data before others. Abandoning decades of precedent, the agency has decided to only post its reports directly on the web, rather than also release them via accredited media. While that may seem like a democratic move, it actually could set the stage for a winner-takes-all arms race to grab the info first.

Struggling dairies get creative, hoping to stay afloat

American Farm Publications | Posted on July 16, 2018 in Agriculture News

To rescue her father’s ailing Wicomico County dairy farm, 31-year-old Rebecca Harcum had emptied her savings, maxed out her credit cards and taken a loan against her 401(k). She’d poured nearly $100,000 into the effort, and her father, William Blan Harcum Jr., had also exhausted his savings and credit.

Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance

Council for Agriculture Science and Technology | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

The paper also presents an overview of the current landscape of governance of genome editing, including existing regulations, international agreements, and standards and codes of conduct, as well as a discussion of factors that affect governance, including comparison with other approaches to genetic modification, environmental and animal welfare impacts of specific applications, values of producers and consumers, and economic impacts, among others.  Recognizing both that genome editing for crop and livestock improvement has the potential to substantially contribute to human welfare and sust

Federal funding powers development of waste-to-energy technology for poultry farmers

Technically Baltimore | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

A Baltimore startup that spun out of research at Morgan State University is looking to turn poultry litter into power for farmers. Cykloburn Technologies is developing a low-emission combustion system that converts biomass into energy. CEO Rob Meissner said the technology is being designed as an option for poultry farmers who use chicken litter as fertilizer. On the Eastern Shore, nitrogen and phosphorous from excess fertilizer is pegged as a prime pollutant in the Chesapeake Bay.

Irish government puts additional restrictions on GMO production

Farm Ireland | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

The Cabinet has agreed to enable Ireland to prohibit or restrict the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ireland.The Government approved the transposition of an EU Directive, which will enable Ireland to opt out of cultivation of GMO crops approved for cultivation elsewhere in the EU.

Cargill reports one of its best results for fiscal 2018

Watt Ag Net | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Cargill reported $3.2 billion in adjusted operating earnings for the 2018 fiscal year, one of its best annual performances. The fourth quarter also was very strong for the company.

Poultry company loses a customer because of these labels

Ag Daily | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Food News

I may have to start buying that grocery off brand since the kind carried at the gas station recently switched their labeling, marketing, and packaging to bombard consumers with misleading claims that I just can’t support and won’t purchase. Let’s break them down one by one, shall we?  1: Non-GMO. GMO or GE grains allow farmers to be more sustainable by growing more crop on less land while using less pesticides, tillage, etc.

Stand up for Safe, Affordable Food

Coalition for Safe Affordable Food | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture, Food News

A uniform, national food ingredient disclosure solution was passed  by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. The law prevents the confusion and costly red tape associated with a 50-state patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws that could have raised the cost of food for families by up to $1,050 per year.

FDA Adds New States to Cooperative Agreement Program to Support Produce Safety

U.S. FDA | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced new cooperative agreements with Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi and American Samoa, as well as renewed agreements with 43 other states, in support of efforts to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Battle Between Ethanol And Refiners Reaches Stalemate

The Fuse | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Energy News

The current zero-sum battle between corn states and the biofuels industry on the one hand, and oil refiners on the other, is not new, but it exploded into a fierce fight over the past year as the Environmental Protection Agency  cracked open the door to a weakening of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The RFS dictates how much ethanol refiners need to procure. The exit of Scott Pruitt from the EPA could signal an end to open war between the ethanol and refining industries, returning it to a more familiar low-grade tug-of-war over annual blending requirements.

Trump Falsely Claims It’s ‘Impossible’ for American Farmers to Do Business in Europe

The New York Times | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

Mr. Trump’s suggestion that it is “impossible” for American farmers to sell their products to the European Union is wrong. In fact, the 28 countries of the European Union are the United States’ fifth-largest export market for agricultural goods, like tree nuts and soybeans, totaling $11.5 billion in 2017, according to the Department of Agriculture.But the United States did import about $10 billion more in agricultural products, like wine, beer and chocolate, from the European Union than it exported there.

‘Hot dog water’ stunt deserves your attention

Watt Ag Net | Posted on July 15, 2018 in News

In June 2018, Canadian artist Douglas Bevans set up a booth at a popular street fair in Vancouver, Canada, to sell a hot dog suspended in a bottle of water for $29. evans sold Hot Dog Water using an array of claims.

Announces 1.6 Million for Support Projects in Rural Communities

My Panhandle | Posted on July 15, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Governor Scott announced that more than $1.6 million has been awarded to support projects in rural communities across the state. This grant funding was provided through the Rural Infrastructure Fund to help with the planning, preparation and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities. These projects will result in job creation, capital investment and the strengthening and diversification of Florida’s rural economies. During Gov. Scott’s time in office, every county has had a decrease in unemployment and every region in Florida has experienced job growth.

How Rare Earths (What?) Could Be Crucial in a U.S.-China Trade War

The New York Times | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Federal News

Amanda Lacaze grabbed her iPhone and rattled off the names of the special minerals needed to make it. The screen was polished with lanthanum and cerium. The inside has a magnet made with neodymium and praseodymium.Those minerals almost certainly came from China. Ms. Lacaze’s job is to give the world an alternative source, in case a global trade war spirals out of control and China cuts off supply.Right now, she can’t. Her company, Lynas Corporation, can provide only a fraction of the minerals — known as rare earths — that China produces.

How solar energy helps Mennonites with their mission of global relief

U.S. Energy News | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Energy News

The Gift & Thrift in Harrisonburg is one of more than one hundred thrift shops run by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Canada and the United States. Since 1972 they have raised more than $200 million to support domestic and international aid programs by the MCC. In addition to the thrift shop, the Harrisonburg complex of buildings hosts an artisan gift shop, a bookstore, a café, and a community center.To bring solar to the Gift & Thrift, the store and the MCC teamed up with local solar installer Secure Futures to create the “Thrifty Solar Barn Raising” team.

Solar Plan Collides With Farm Tradition in Pacific Northwest

The New York Times | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Energy News

When a company from Seattle came calling, wanting to lease some land on Jeff and Jackie Brunson’s 1,000-acre hay and oat farm for a solar energy project, they jumped at the idea, and the prospect of receiving regular rent checks. They did not anticipate the blowback — snarky texts, phone calls from neighbors, and county meetings where support for solar was scant.Critics said the project would remove too much land from agricultural production in central Washington.

Virginia regulators accuse Mountain Valley Pipeline of erosion violations

The Roanoke Times | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

Virginia regulators have accused the builder of the Mountain Valley Pipeline of environmental violations punishable by fines and repair mandates, saying the company’s failure to install and maintain erosion-control devices has fouled 8,800 feet of streams in six locations.The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality gave Robert Cooper, project manager for EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh, a nine-page notice of violations on Monday.

North Dakota sues Dakota Access over farmland ownership

MPR news | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Agriculture, Energy, SARL Members and Alumni News

North Dakota's attorney general is suing the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over agricultural land the company owns in violation of a state law banning large corporations from owning farmland. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a civil complaint in state district court against Dakota Access LLC, a company formed by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to build the $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The pipeline began operating a year ago.

Black farmers were sold 'fake' seeds by Iowa company, Memphis-based group says

Des Moines Register | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Agriculture News

Black farmers, whose numbers already have dwindled precipitously over the past century, face new hardships after suffering poor yields last year because they were sold "fake" soybean seeds marketed at a Memphis trade show, members of a group representing African-American growers said. Leaders of the Memphis-based Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association have filed a class-action lawsuit against Stine Seed Co., the nation's largest independent seed-producer, accusing the Adel, Iowa, firm of targeting African-Americans for sales of defective seeds.

Research Compares Rural and Urban Student Drug Use

Rural Pennsylvania | Posted on July 14, 2018 in News

Research to determine if there are differences between urban and rural Pennsylvania youth in substance use, such as alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, and violent behavior found little overall differences between urban and rural students. The only meaningful differences were in alcohol and illicit drug use among rural and urban 12th graders, where urban students showed higher use rates than rural students. Also, for tobacco use, rural students showed higher lifetime use of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products than urban students. The research, conducted by Dr.

Wisconsin Loses Another 54 Dairy Farms in June

Dairy Herd Management | Posted on July 14, 2018 in Energy News

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reports that 54 Wisconsin dairy farms sold out in June. That’s on top of the 78 that left the business in May. Year-to-date, 338 dairy farms stopped milking cows. Still, USDA estimates that cow numbers are down just 1,000 head from January to May (the latest report available). The year-to-day farm exits are running about 30% higher than the same January through June farm exits in 2017. Note: The June 2018 exit number of 54 farms is six fewer in June 2017.

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