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Agriculture

Sneakers Made from Corn? Seat Cushions From Soybeans?

Robust demand for processed foods, animal feed and biofuels isn’t keeping up with a record glut of crops in the U.S. and around the world, after several years of bumper harvests and largely benevolent weather. To sell the surplus, farmers and trade groups are wooing new customers, from car makers to toy companies. In recent years, corn and soybeans have been added to the recipes for Ford Motor Co. seat cushions, IKEA mattresses, Danone SA’s yogurt cups and Procter & Gamble Co.’s Olay moisturizers. Adidas AG’s Reebok brand recently unveiled sneakers made with corn.

Agriculture firms warn of unintended impact of tax law

 A provision inserted into the tax code during Senate and House negotiations in December gave farmers more lucrative deductions when they sell agricultural products directly to the farm cooperatives he competes against rather than to businesses like his own.Mr. Tronson, whose four storage facilities handle 17 million bushels of grain a year, said the competition could spell the end of his 76-year-old family-owned business.“We’ve made a big investment.

Proposed Arkansas dicamba spraying cutoff date remains April 15

The Arkansas Plant Board decided to stick with the same proposed dicamba regulations it first passed last fall. The second go-around with the regulations became necessary when, in December, state lawmakers asked the board to reconsider a mid-April spraying cutoff date along with the possibility of establishing spraying zones.

Michigan dairy farmer gets prison time for hiring undocumented immigrants

A Michigan dairy farmer is to spend a couple of years in federal prison and owes a six-figure fine for hiring undocumented immigrants. U.S. District Judge Thomas L. Ludington on Thursday, Jan. 4, sentenced Denis Burke to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Ludington did not order Burke taken into custody on Thursday, but gave him time to self-report to the U.S. Marshals Services.The judge also ordered Burke to pay a fine of $187,500 and an assessment fee of $100.

California producers approve dairy quota

Farmers have maintained that retention of a quota program was a critical component in adopting the federal milk marketing order system.  California dairy producers have voted in favor of a plan to retain their quota program if a federal milk marketing order is established for the state. The California Department of Food and Agriculture released the results of a producer referendum on the quota Friday afternoon, showing that 87.2 percent of eligible voters voted in favor of the plan.

Quarles Unveils New Initiative to Combat Food Insecurity

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles today unveiled an initiative that will open a new front on combating food insecurity: summer meals for Kentucky children. The Kentucky-grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program will create an economic incentive for summer meal programs to buy fruit and vegetables produced in Kentucky by Kentucky growers. the Kentucky-grown Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program will create an economic incentive for summer meal programs to buy fruit and vegetables produced in Kentucky by Kentucky growers.

9th Circuit Ruling on Idaho “Ag Gag” Statute

The United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued a ruling on the constitutionality of Idaho’s Interference with Agricultural Production (commonly referred to as an “ag gag”) statute.  The Court affirmed in part the lower court decision holding a portion of the statute unconstitutional but upheld two specific statutory provisions.  This case is important as it is the first time a federal appellate court has found a constitutional right to record images on private property like a farm.  Animal rights groups are hailing this is a major victory, despite the fact that other provisio

Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority to accept applications and award $660,000 for dairy risk management

The State of Missouri’s FY18 budget signed by Gov. Eric Greitens made available $660,000 to fund a dairy risk management program created by the Missouri Dairy Revitalization Act. The Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority (MASBDA), housed within the Missouri Department of Agriculture, will begin accepting applications for the program in early 2018. The Margin Insurance Premium Assistance program was established to assist Missouri dairy farmers with the cost of their participation in the federal margin protection program by the Missouri General Assembly.

Florida and Georgia taking water fight to Supreme Court

The high court hears arguments Monday in the long-running dispute between Florida and neighboring Georgia over the flow of water in the Apalachicola River, which runs from the state line to Apalachicola Bay and the nearby Gulf of Mexico. Florida sued Georgia in the Supreme Court in 2013, blaming farmers and booming metro Atlanta for low river flows that harmed the environment and fisheries dependent on fresh water entering the area.

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