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Will pet food fall under new US GMO labeling bill?

Pet food shoppers increasingly say they look for non-GMO claims on labels and are even willing to pay more for pet foods with such claims. What if pet foods were required to declare inclusion of GMO ingredients on their labels; would that cause some pet owners to steer clear of such products? We may soon find out, at least in the US.

ADMC Research Substantiates that Saturated Buffers at Field Scale do Reduce Nitrates

The Agricultural Drainage Management Coalition, Agricultural Drainage Management Systems Task Force and Dr. Dan Jaynes with the National Laboratory for Agricultural & The Environment collaborated to demonstrate and evaluate saturated buffers at field scale to reduce nitrates and phosphorus from subsurface field drainage systems. With many of the row-crop agriculture fields in the Midwest being located adjacent to ditches, streams, rivers and lakes, it is no surprise that nutrient transport from agriculture lands is a major concern.

Video: Ag Labor and Border Security Require Balanced Approach

For farmers and ranchers, immigration reform must balance agriculture’s need for a dependable supply of agricultural labor with enhanced security at our nation’s border. A new video produced by the American Farm Bureau Federation highlights those issues, but with political debate ramping up and no practical solutions on the horizon, farmers say important areas of U.S. food production are at risk.

A Sleeping Giant Wakes?

After being wrapped up in the day-to-day movement of grain prices, I often find it helpful to take time out and look around at how other markets are doing. Getting a larger perspective helps one see the ebbs and flows of the world's wealth and where grain markets fall in the scheme of things. Among financial assets, holders of 30-year U.S. Treasury bonds gained 12% as of July 15, 2016 while stocks represented by Morgan Stanley's All-Country World Index were up 3%.

Changes in Where Corn Is Grown in the Last Ten Years

Over the last ten years, U.S. corn acres grew by 7.2 million acres. However, changes in acres across the United States were not even. High growth areas included North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. Growth occurred near and around the western corn-belt while acres in the eastern corn-belt remained relatively stable. Harvested corn acres in the United States averaged 74.7 million acres in 2004-05, increasing by 7.2 million acres to 81.9 million acres in 2014-15. Between the two ten year periods, harvested acres increased by 10%.

Bayer Makes New Offer for Monsanto

Bayer AG boosted its takeover offer for Monsanto Co. to about $65 billion in a bid to overcome the U.S. seed company’s resistance to the tie-up and join a parade of consolidation in the agriculture industry. Bayer made the new $125-a-share offer verbally on July 1 and more formally eight days later, it said in a statement Thursday confirming an earlier report by The Wall Street Journal. The new bid represents a $3-a-share bump from an earlier proposal Monsanto rejected as too low.

Legislators extend deer farm fencing exception

A legislative committee has extended emergency rules allowing captive deer farmers to opt out of the state's chronic wasting disease monitoring program without upgrading their fences.  Generally, deer farms must enroll in the monitoring program to get Department of Natural Resources' approval for a single fence. If farms don't participate in the program they must install double or solid fencing. The DNR board in December adopted an emergency rule allowing farmers to opt out of monitoring without having to install double or solid fencing.

Celery harvesters win $1 million in sexual harassment lawsuit

Two celery harvesters who claimed they were sexually harassed at work reached a $1 million settlement against a labor contractor after a jury found in their favor. Attorneys with California Rural Legal Assistance said their two clients, who did not want to be named, had worked for Jackpot Harvesting on and off from 2007 until 2011. In 2009 they filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after being subject to physical and verbal harassment, but the company did nothing to protect the women, the attorneys said in a statement.

Agriculture drying up in N.H. corrections

The women spend three mornings a week preserving their small garden, the last remaining vestige of agriculture within the Department of Corrections after the state’s prison farm closed last year. To find any other inmates working in vegetable beds – or milking cows for that matter – one has to drive about two hours north to North Haverill. The Grafton County Farm is the last remaining county farm in the state. “Once they pull the plug, you just don’t get them back anymore,” said Grafton County Farm manager Donnie Kimball.


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