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Agriculture

Soaring popularity of grass-fed beef may hit roadblock: less nutritious grass

What he's found is a trend in the nutritional quality of grasses that grass-fed cattle (and young cattle destined for grain-heavy feedlots) are eating. Since the mid-90s, levels of crude protein in the plants, which cattle need to grow, have dropped by nearly 20 percent.  "If we were still back at the forage quality that we would've had 25 years ago, no less 100 years ago, our animals would be gaining a lot more weight," Craine says. He has a sneaking suspicion that rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are contributing as well.

Want to fix agriculture? Stop with the name-calling — and death threats.

What has the world come to when people get death threats for expressing an opinion about agriculture? The toxicity of the debate about farming in general and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in particular is so entrenched that Mark Lynas, a prominent British journalist and environmentalist who publicly changed his mind about genetic modification, wasn’t even surprised by the death threats. “I got very few,” he says. And the name-calling and Internet trolling were just what he expected when he put his head over the parapet to champion GMOs.

NC State project develops solar heaters for chicken houses

Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a practical solar heater for poultry houses as part of a project partially funded by USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation, the organization announced. Sanjay Shah and his colleagues developed and tested the low-cost solar heater that warms the air as it passes through a black plastic housing that has been heated by the sun.

EPA nixes bid to herd livestock under Clean Air Act

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it has denied a petition by environmental groups to regulate concentrated animal feeding operations like factories under the Clean Air Act. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in a letter to petitioners, acknowledged livestock are potential sources of air pollutants. The agency, however, doesn’t have a reliable method for estimating animal emissions.

Rabobank warns of ‘rising tide of milk’

Rabobank expects EU milk supply to continue growing in the next six months. European milk supply in the next six month will decide the fate of global markets, according to the latest report from the Dutch-based agri lender.Rabobank’s latest quarterly dairy report sets the tone clearly in its headline: “Rising tide of milk weighs on sentiment”.While the bank’s analysts note that global supply has increased since last spring, they warn that it is not over yet. In Oceania, unfavourable weather conditions reduced production during the November spring peak.

Dairies Are Awash in Organic Milk as Consumers Jump to Alternatives

Organic milk sales have cooled as the very shoppers who drove demand for the specialty product not long ago move on to newer alternatives, leaving dairy sellers and producers grappling with oversupply. A yearslong surge in demand prompted food companies and dairy farmers to invest in organic production, which requires eschewing pesticides and antibiotics and allowing cows to graze freely. Now, organic-milk supplies have ballooned just as demand has stalled.

Poultry Tops Mississippi’s $7.3 Billion Agriculture Economy in 2017

Mississippi’s $7.3 billion agriculture economy continues to see growth from the poultry industry which saw an increase of 13% in 2017, reaching $2.8 billion in value. Agricultural economists with the Mississippi State University Extension Service released year-end estimates for the value of crops in the Magnolia State. Government payments accounted for $227 million in commodity value, so when added to the total crop value the overall monetary value jumps to $7.53 billion.

VA:State Forester to Head Virginia Agriculture, Forestry

After more than a decade in the Virginia Department of Forestry, Bettina Ring will be the commonwealth’s next secretary of agriculture and forestry. She will replace Basil I. Gooden in the role that oversees the state’s largest private industry, agriculture, which combined with forestry provides more than 442,000 jobs, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.“We have sustainable farmland and forestland across the state, and we want to make sure it stays healthy and the families stay healthy” managing it, Ring said.

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