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Enviros and BLM reach major public lands settlement in Utah

Thousands of miles of dusty two-tracks crisscross Utah’s remote public lands. Some are historical routes, while others were carved more recently by backcountry recreationists in trucks and four-wheelers. Which roads should still be used and which should be abandoned to protect the environment has been a topic of intense debate for years. Now, Utah is one step closer to ending its roads controversy.  Last week an eight-year lawsuit spanning 11 million acres and 20,000 miles of routes in southern and eastern Utah ended with a settlement.

US Cybersecurity in Need of Rapid Repair, Senators Told

Cybersecurity in the United States is in a severe state of disrepair, leaving the country vulnerable to attack from hacking groups backed by its opponents, two witnesses testified in a Senate subcommittee hearing Tuesday. The witnesses told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy that they believe a massive cyberattack is imminent unless the U.S.

U.S. meat exports slower but still solid in April

U.S. exports of beef and pork moderated in April from March but were still significantly higher year over year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. At 99,786 metric tons, valued at $550.4 million, beef exports were down 5.2 percent in volume and 6.4 percent in value from March. But they were up 13 percent in volume and 14 percent in value from April 2016.Pork exports, at 203,864 metric tons, were valued at $517.5 million and were down 10.9 percent in volume and 11.8 percent in value from record-breaking levels in March.

Disaster Assistance: From "not a penny" to new and improved

Last week, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released a new report indicating that changes to the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) made in the 2014 Farm Bill have been well-received by farmers and have led to a doubling of NAP applications – from 66,000 in 2014 to 138,000 in 2015.

U.S. Agricultural Exports to China Increased Rapidly Making China the Number One Market - See more at: http://www.choicesmagazine.org/choices-magazine/theme-articles/us-commodity-markets-respond-to-changes-in-chinas-ag-policies/us-agricultural-exports-to-

Since 2012, China has become the predominant market for U.S. agriculture exports, accounting for 16% of U.S. agriculture export value in 2016. The value of exports to China increased 25.6% per year from 2002 to 2013 and added $23.4 billion to the U.S. agricultural export market over this time period. Exports to China in 2014 and 2015 declined slightly but began to rebound in 2016. In 2016, the four largest export markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products—China, Canada, Mexico, and Japan—accounted for 52% of U.S. agriculture export sales (USDA, 2017a). Strong growth in U.S.

China's WH Group targets beef and poultry assets in U.S. and Europe

Smithfield Foods Inc's owner, China-based WH Group Ltd is scouting for U.S. and European beef and poultry assets to buy, in a move that would sharpen its rivalry with global meat packers Tyson Foods Inc and JBS SA. Expanding into beef and poultry would bring U.S.-based Smithfield  the world's largest pork producer, more in line with competitors Tyson, JBS and BRF SA, which each process pork, chicken and beef.

3. President puts spotlight on crumbling river infrastructure vital to grain exports

The centerpiece of Trump's infrastructure plan is $200 billion in tax breaks for businesses that the Trump administration expects would leverage $1 trillion in infrastructure projects around the country. Trump said the nation's infrastructure is crumbling and a disaster in need of serious upgrade.In May, the White House budget plan called for changing the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to increase fees paid by commercial navigation users of the waterways. The federal government would lower the 50% match for capital costs on locks and dams.

U.S. Pays Farmers Billions To Save The Soil. But It's Blowing Away

Soil has been blowing away from the Great Plains ever since farmers first plowed up the prairie. It reached crisis levels during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when windblown soil turned day into night. That soil cloud is a result of farming practices — and of government policies. In recent years, dust storms have returned, driven mainly by drought. But Neil Shook, a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others say farmers are making the problem worse by taking land where grass used to grow and plowing it up, exposing vulnerable soil.

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