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Agriculture

Crop Prices Rally as Report Points to Easing of Glut

U.S. crop prices surged Tuesday, extending an unexpected run in agricultural prices that has drawn in big investors like hedge funds.  The gains promise much needed relief for a farm economy battered by the slump in prices for major row crops over the past three years.  The catalyst was a closely watched government report that said rising exports would eat into the glut in farm commodities by next year. The big surprise was a projection that U.S. soybean inventories would fall by a steep 24%.

Delmarva poultry wants to separate facts from fiction

Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. is embarking on a new public relations effort to educate consumers about the poultry industry. “We recognize we have not done a good job of getting our messages out,” said Bill Satterfield, the longtime executive director of DPI, an 1,800-member trade association.

2016 US Summer Forecast

As a strong El Niño fades, the weather across the country will slowly change. In much of the eastern United States, a hot summer is in store.

Rain and thunderstorms will dominate the pattern in the central and southern Plains, while the opposite occurs in California and the Northwest, and scarce rainfall leads to severe drought conditions.

Heat will come on strong in June for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, including in New York City, Boston, and Hartford, Connecticut. However, severe weather in July could turn the warm pattern on its head.

Declining sulfur levels in soil due to cleaner air

With the move from burning coal to natural gas and low-sulfur coal and an increase in the use of scrubbers, only about 25 percent as much atmospheric sulfur is available today, compared to 40 years ago. Sulfur balances in agricultural fields are now negative, with more removed each year in crop harvests and leaching than is added from fertilizers and deposition, scientists have found, suggesting that farmers may need to apply sulfur fertilizer at some point in the future, particularly on fields with less soil organic matter.

CAFOs win with NC decision to drop NPDES permits

Since 2005, Rose Acre Farms has had, under protest, a Clean Water Act non-discharge National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit instead of a North Carolina permit, which all other egg farms in North Carolina are allowed to use. After reading a detailed account of Rose Acre's defense, the NCDEQ dropped its requirements and demands of the past 15 years and said it will allow the agricultural runoff exemption to be applied to Rose Acre and other similar entities.

Livestock pollutant technology rarely reaches the farm

Most technologies developed in recent years to reduce odor and gas emissions from livestock never make it to the farm for further testing, researchers at Iowa State University said Monday.

 ISU researchers reviewed 265 academic papers published through the end of 2014 that looked at the effectiveness of technologies intended to control emissions from livestock and poultry operations. The practices focused on animal housing, manure storage and land application techniques.

HSUS forms advisory council, Ag Alliance says dont be fooled

The Humane Society of the United States HSUS has formed its own National Agriculture Advisory Council.

Council members include Kevin Fulton of Nebraska, Chris Petersen of Iowa, Mike Callicrate of Colorado, Pete Eshelman of Indiana, Paul Muegge of Oklahoma, Carrie Balkcom of Colorado, Will Harris of Georgia and Joe Logan of Ohio. The HSUS stated that it advocates reducing or replacing consumption of animal products, and refining diets.

New Hampshire has over 100 species of bees, researchers say

University of New Hampshire researchers say there are more 100 species of bees buzzing around the state and that some of them have never been documented. The university's Agricultural Experiment Station has completed its first assessment of the state's native bee population. Sandra Rehan, who oversees the UNH Bee Lab, said Monday that New Hampshire has a high "bee species richness" compared to other Northeastern states, such as Maine and Pennsylvania.

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