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Agriculture

Progress and Potential Hurdles for the 2018 Farm Bill

The odds for a farm bill in 2018 have improved considerably. On Wednesday the Senate Ag Committee moved its version of a farm bill with a strong bipartisan vote (20 to 1). House leadership is attempting to resolve the immigration issue that contributed to the House Ag Committee's farm bill defeat on the floor. This may pave the way for a House vote reconsidering the farm bill, but success remains uncertain.

USMEF says Mexico's retalitory tariffs could cost $1billion

The loss of market share in Mexico, the top foreign market for U.S. pork, as a result of its retaliatory tariffs will lower the value of U.S. pork because products that will not go to Mexico would be absorbed by other markets and the domestic market — at lower prices, USMEF said. “Looking only at ham prices, the drop in the primal value could translate into losses to the industry of more than $300 million for the remainder of the year, which would be roughly $600 million over the next year,” the report states. “Picnics are the other primal likely to be impacted.

Mountaire Farms formally targeted in class action lawsuit

A consent decree Mountaire Farms reached with Delaware environmental officials last week is formally being challenged by a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 700 local residents. The lawsuit against the Millsboro, Del.-based processor claims that the consent decree with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is “wholly inadequate” in addressing what the suit calls Mountaire’s inadequate treatment of wastewater from its poultry plant.

U.S.–China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture

The United States and China, the world’s largest economic powers, have dueled in an escalating trade dispute since January 2018. This ever-changing story continues to evolve, with additional tariffs announced by the United States as we go to press in late May 2018. Given this recent dispute that has moved agriculture from the back pages to the front pages of media, Choices publishes this special issue on “U.S.-China Trade Dispute and Potential Impacts on Agriculture.” This trade dispute is important to U.S.

Cheese plant wants OK to dump 2M gallons of waste water into Big Sioux each day

A Hamlin County cheese manufacturer expanding its operations needs a permit from the South Dakota environmental office to dump millions of gallons of waste water per day into the Big Sioux River. But environmental buffs and officials with several water systems in the region say the move could put drinking water supplies downstream at risk.Wisconsin-based Agropur earlier this year began a substantial expansion to its facility in Lake Norden that would increase its ability to process milk by six million pounds per day.

Time Running Out for Agriculture ELD Exemption

While the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) 90-day electronic logging device (ELD) waiver for agriculture truckers expires June 18, one group has already been granted an extension until fall. When President Donald Trump signed the $1.3 trillion spending bill in March 2018, it also passed an extension on the ELD implementation for livestock haulers. The bill, passed on March 23, included a mandate for livestock and insect haulers to have an exemption through September 30, 2018.

HSUS Pays Twice What it Receives in Fundraising

We recently wrote about the bizarre tale of HSUS fundraiser Loop NYC, which appears to raise money by soliciting random strangers on the New York subway system. For anyone who’s ever been on the system, this has to be one of the dumbest strategies: People want to avoid other people on the New York subway, not give them their credit card info. One thing that caught our eye was the claim from the marketing firm that for every dollar a solicitor raised for HSUS, he received two.

Saratoga not giving up after State Supreme Court rules in favor of proposed dairy

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the owners of a proposed large-scale dairy near Wisconsin Rapids can farm 6,388 acres of related land despite a town zoning ordinance. The court, in a 5-2 decision, reversed an appeals court's 2017 ruling that building permits for the proposed 5,300-cow dairy did not allow the Wysocki Family of Companies to farm the adjacent land.

Trudeau Takes Heat From Dairy Farmers for Opening Door to Trump

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire from farmers at home for saying he’s flexible on increasing access to the country’s dairy industry, a change sought by Donald Trump in Nafta talks. Trudeau said Sunday in a U.S. television interview the U.S. was seeking two main things in Nafta negotiations, which are essentially on the back-burner after the U.S. hit Canada and Mexico with steel and aluminum tariffs last week.

USDA streamlines produce safety rule

The USDA and FDA have streamlined produce safety requirements for specialty crop growers. U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the agency’s Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program now aligns with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule and inspection requirements from both agencies will be less of a burden for farmers.FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says his agency is working to provide more resources to states which conduct most of the food safety inspections.

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