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Agriculture

USDA sees another big drop in farm income for 2018

USDA forecast net farm income for this year at $65.7 billion, up from a February projection but down $9.8 billion, or 13 percent, from 2017, when the broad measure of farmland profits increased nearly 23 percent. The department’s Economic Research Service said that in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, net farm income is expected to drop $11.4 billion for the year, after increasing $13 billion (20.3 percent) in 2017.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch With paltry dairy prices, Minnesota farmer prepares to milk his cows one last time

Milk prices for dairy farmers have hit rock bottom and stayed there too long. Cordes had to do something. "I just got my milk check for July's milk, and my base was $14 a hundredweight. And that is the same price I got 25 years ago, and our expenses have doubled and sometimes tripled," he said.While the math should make this an easy decision, it's not. After all, Cordes' ancestors from Germany arrived in this part of Otter Tail County before the 1900s. Since then, there has been a Cordes farming for 133 years. I am the last one, but that is a long run," he said.Cordes is not alone.

As President Rallies in Evansville, Indiana Farmers and Manufacturers Bear the Costs of the Trade Wa

Farmers rely on exports and overseas markets to stay in business, but the trade war makes it harder and harder for us to stay afloat. Tariffs are allowing foreign competitors to sell to our customers at a better price than we can offer. If the trade war doesn’t end soon, tariffs could cause permanent damage to rural communities in Indiana and across the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the retaliatory tariffs in a burgeoning trade war could cost Indiana up to $1.1 billion, including in lost steel exports to Canada.

Suit vs. USDA over organic animal welfare rules allowed

 federal district court in northern California has ruled that a lawsuit challenging USDA’s withdrawal of organic animal welfare regulations can proceed. The Center for Food Safety is suing USDA after the agency withdrew the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule that would have increased federal regulation of animal housing, healthcare, transportation and slaughter practices for certified organic producers and handlers.

The Allure Of Destination Breweries As Rural Economic Engines

Craft beer fans seeking different flavors are accustomed to hitting the road to taste offerings from breweries both near and far from home. Special releases of new and limited-run creations are a big draw, but so too are the breweries themselves. As the craft beer industry has blossomed over the past decade, so too have options for such visits.

How U.S. Soybeans Can Skirt Trade-War Tariffs to End Up in China

U.S. soybeans can still make it to China without paying the 25 percent tariff -- they just have to take a 5,500-mile (8,850-kilometer) diversion via Argentina. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how the trade would happen. An unusual flood of U.S. beans to Argentina could be processed by that nation’s huge crushing industry and sent to China as soy meal. Argentina is the world’s biggest exporter of meal, made from the crushed oilseed and used as animal feed.Beans from the U.S. are going to Argentina after one of the worst droughts in decades crippled production on the Argentine Pampas.

Labor shortage, wage inflation compound agriculture industry struggles

As the U.S. economy continues to grow and unemployment dwindles, labor scarcity and wage inflation threaten the rural economy and put additional stress on profitability of the agriculture industry at a time of depressed commodity prices. Manual laborers are chasing higher wages offered in industries like transportation, construction, hospitality and mining, forcing agriculture employers to increase wages at a faster rate to compete, according to a new study from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

How to Keep New York’s Farmland for Farmers

New York is vital for farming; far from its national reputation as merely an urban center, the state has seven million acres of farmland and is one of the biggest producers of dairy and apples. It also faces many of the same issues that face farmers around the country, with perhaps the biggest being simply holding onto, or gaining new, farmland. The National Young Farmers Coalition’s new paper has some concrete suggestions for how to combat these issues.  The difficulty existing farmers face keeping farmland, and the difficulty new farmers face finding farmland, are not unique to New York.

Dairy farm turns to GoFundMe for survival

A Wisconsin family is turning to crowdfunding to save their dairy farm, which dates all the way back to 1873.Dale Cihlar, a fourth generation dairy farmer and grandfather of nine grandkids, had reached a new low – with several prized dairy cows dying, the price of milk plummeting, and another $1,600 monthly payment for the manure storage system the county required them to install.

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