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Agriculture

Virginia offers free on-farm readiness review to determine if produce safety rule applies to you

Changes are coming in the way farmers grow, pack, hold and distribute ready-to-eat produce, and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) can help by performing a free, on-farm readiness review. Farmers who sell more than $25,000 in applicable produce per year may be subject to the new federal legislation. Regulatory inspections are expected to begin in mid-2019, but farmers can find out now if they are ready for the changes, with time to make any necessary adjustments.

What you should know about the chlorpyrifos ruling

Last Thursday a federal court took an extraordinary step by ordering EPA to revoke all tolerances and cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos. This is to be done within 60 days. This happened, despite the fact that USDA says it is a mistake to conclude chlorpyrifos is unsafe.EPA argued that administrative process deprived the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals of jurisdiction. The court basically said nonsense to EPA.

Agricultural Debt Continues to Increase

Agricultural debt on a nominal basis in Illinois has been increasing since 1991. Nominally, agricultural debt reached a peak in 1984 of $188.8 billion (see the nominal line in Figure 1). From 1984 through 1989, agricultural producers retired debt and agricultural lenders wrote off some debt, resulting in a decline in total debt. By 1989, agricultural debt had declined by 31%, reaching a level of $131 billion. Since 1990, agricultural debt increased an average of 4.1% per year. The rate of increase varied from year-to-year but exhibited no escalating or decreasing trends.

Growers Push for Better Fruit and Vegetable Prices

Apparently Australian growers have been feeling the same financial pinch that American growers are feeling. After years of their own costs going up without a corresponding increase in crop prices, Aussie farmers are fighting back.

Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Reauthorized

These two user fee programs enhance the FDA’s ability to maintain a predictable and timely animal drug review process, foster innovation in drug development, and expedite access to new therapies for food-producing and companion animals.

Danes to fence German border to stop boars with swine fever

Denmark is to erect a 70-kilometer (43.4-mile) fence along the German border to keep out wild boars, in the hope of preventing the spread of African swine fever, which can jeopardize the country’s valuable pork industry. Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it had approved the outline for the steel fence, which will be up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall.

Weak farm economy leading to fewer farm loans

More farm loan applications are being rejected in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states in reaction to weak farm commodity prices and income. The latest Rural Mainstreet survey says nearly one-third of bank CEOs reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans, while nearly 55 percent indicated their banks had raised collateral requirements in the face of weak farm prices and income.

Tariffs could cost fruit, nut industries over $3 billion

The ongoing international trade turmoil between the U.S. and other countries has prompted import tariffs on many U.S. agricultural commodities in important export markets, which could hurt U.S. farmers.A new report released by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center estimates the higher tariffs could cost major U.S. fruit and nut industries $2.64 billion per year in exports to countries imposing the higher tariffs, and as much as $3.34 billion by reducing prices in alternative markets.

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