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Agriculture

Big Worries In Vermont’s Dairy Industry

Fears on the farm. How President Trump’s immigration crackdown could impact Vermont’s dairy industry. Vermont is probably not a state you’d think of in the conversation about immigration and border security. But the state’s multi-billion dollar dairy industry relies on undocumented agriculture workers to milk and more. President Trump’s executive orders and tough talk have undocumented workers scared. And farmers don’t know what they’ll do without a reliable workforce. This hour On Point, Vermont, agriculture, and immigration.

The questions no one is asking about raising food animals without antibiotics

Recently, I spent a morning with a country veterinarian. As he checked cattle for their health certificates, we talked about antibiotic use in cattle, sheep, pigs, turkeys and chickens. He’s observed a deeply concerning trend; many sick animals are not being treated with antibiotics because ranchers and farmers are required to keep their animals ABF (antibiotic free) for their large, socially driven corporate customers. When animals get sick, and many do, just like many kids get sick, they need antibiotics to get better.

Trouble on the farm

District crop and livestock producers are struggling to cope with a sharp drop in commodity prices. For agricultural producers across the Ninth District, this has been the winter of their discontent. After reaping handsome profits earlier in the decade, producers are reeling from lower crop and livestock prices, the result of several years of high commodity production worldwide and a strong U.S. dollar that has limited farm exports.Many producers in the district are operating at a loss because revenues are not covering their costs.

Canada says don't blame it for Wisconsin dairy woes

Canada says it’s being wrongly blamed for a decision by a major dairy processor that could put some Wisconsin farms out of business in less than three weeks.At issue are changes in Canadian policy that make it harder for U.S. dairy processors — such as Grassland Dairy Products of Greenwood — to sell ultra-filtered milk, used to make cheese, in Canada.The policies are “choking off sales of American milk to the detriment of U.S. dairy farmers,” said Tom Vilsack, former U.S. Agriculture Secretary and now president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

Your farm is trying to kill you

Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in America, with 22 of every 100,000 farmers dying in a work-related accident. Farmers are nearly twice as likely to die on the job as police officers are, five times as likely as firefighters, and 73 times as likely as Wall Street bankers. Farming death rates may be high, but the injury rates are even higher. In 2014, the most recent year for which data are available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated there were 58,000 adult farm injuries — nearly 6,000 more than the number of U.S.

Zoonotic rat lungworm infection spreading through US

Six human cases of rat lungworm brain infestations of humans have been reported on the Hawaiian island of Maui in three months, compared with two cases over the previous decade, and health officials are concerned. The parasite, which is endemic in parts of the contiguous US and spreading, likely came from Asia via ships, and globalization still plays a role in its spread. It's transmitted to humans via intermediate snail or slug hosts.

Farms could slash pesticide use without losses, research reveals

Virtually all farms could significantly cut their pesticide use while still producing as much food, according to a major new study. The research also shows chemical treatments could be cut without affecting farm profits on over three-quarters of farms.  The new research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Plants, analysed the pesticide use, productivity and profitability of almost 1,000 farms of all types across France.

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