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Agriculture News

Pennsylvania announces $5M for dairy farmers

ABC | Posted on September 20, 2018

The funding was made available under the Pennsylvania Dairy Investment Program, which helps farmers to modernize or expand their operations. Milk sales have dropped in recent years, partly because more people are buying soy, almond, and other non-dairy substitutes.

Ring leader pleads guilty in egg farm worker smuggling scheme

Columbus Dispatch | Posted on September 20, 2018

The man who held a multimillion-dollar contract to supply workers — many of whom were underage and smuggled into the country illegally from Guatemala — for central Ohio egg farms pleaded guilty in federal court in Cleveland to a labor trafficking-related charge. Pablo Duran Ramirez, 50, faces up to 10 years in prison for one count of encouraging the illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals for financial gain.

Hurricane Florence: Animal death toll reaches millions in North Carolina

Newsweek | Posted on September 20, 2018

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture reported the deaths by drowning of 3.4 million chickens and turkeys and 5,500 hogs, the Associated Press reported. Many died in farm buildings overcome by flooding as they waited to be taken to market.

Sanderson Farms loses 1.7 million chickens to hurricane

Watt Ag Net | Posted on September 20, 2018

60 broiler houses and four breeder houses in North Carolina have flooded.

‘CUPS’ Protects Citrus From Greening, Storms

Universifty of Florida | Posted on September 20, 2018

A system designed to protect citrus trees from the deadly greening disease withstood the ravaging winds of Hurricane Irma last year, University of Florida scientists say. With reinforcements installed after the storm, they’ll likely withstand even more dangerous storms. Using Citrus Under Protective Screening, or “CUPS,” growers can keep the Asian citrus psyllid away from their trees, said Arnold Schumann, a professor of soil and water sciences at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. If an infected psyllid – a bug the size of a pin -- bites citrus leaves, it infects trees with a bacterium that sickens them with greening, also known as Huanglongbing, or HLB.During the four years of the CUPS experiment, UF/IFAS researchers have seen no psyllids or greening on the citrus grown in the screened-in environment, said Schumann, a faculty member at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) in Lake Alfred, Florida.When they built the indoor citrus growing system, UF/IFAS researchers – knowing they faced the potential of tropical storm-force winds -- had anchors installed on the poles that keep the screens in place, Schumann said. Those worked fairly well during Irma, but there was room for improvement, he said.

$2M Missing at Minnesota grain elevator

Ag Web | Posted on September 20, 2018

A former grain elevator manager is on the run after allegedly pocketing $2 million from the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator Co. in west-central Minnesota. Jerry Hennessey used the money for hunting trips, taxidermy and paying his personal Cabela’s credit card. Initial investigations show Hennessey had been siphoning off funds while inflating grain inventories from the single-location grain co-op for at least a decade. But the issue came to head earlier this month and forced the co-op, which was established 110 years ago, to stop taking grain deliveries and close for business. The co-op’s board is now actively seeking acquirers for the facility and business.

NASDA Debuts Model Preventive Controls for Animal Food Framework

NASDA | Posted on September 20, 2018

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) is pleased to announce the debut of their Model Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Animal Food Implementation Framework. The document contains the fundamental and essential components for the operation of a state animal food safety program that can fully implement the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Control for Animal Food regulation. This regulation, as well as NASDA’s Framework, establishes preventive actions to ensure the safety of animal food in an effort to protect animal and human health. The national framework emphasizes the need for alignment and consistency across state programs. “As co-regulators with the FDA and other agencies, NASDA members are committed to ensuring a safe food supply,” said NASDA CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn. “This framework is an important step in expanding the partnerships between state departments of agriculture and the FDA to effectively implement the rules of FSMA.” The Framework was produced in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state departments of agriculture, universities, and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) as part of NASDA’s programmatic work on an FDA cooperative agreement for implementation of the rule.

Major U.S. trade groups link up in anti-tariff coalition

CBS | Posted on September 20, 2018

As the Trump administration readies major trade actions this month, including a potential $200 billion in new tariffs on imported Chinese goods, America's biggest trade associations -- representing a wide swath of industries -- have formed what they say will be a sweeping campaign against tariffs. Americans for Free Trade, a group of more than 80 associations, said it represents thousands of businesses and workers. It's joining with the already-formed Farmers for Free Trade in a campaign the groups are calling "Tariffs Hurt the Heartland." They plan events in Chicago, Nashville, Pennsylvania and Ohio starting next week, according to a statement posted on a new website."Every sector of the U.S. economy stands to lose in a trade war," Matthew Shay, who heads the National Retail Federation, said in the statement. "The stakes couldn't be higher for American families, businesses, farmers and workers threatened by job losses and higher prices as a result of tit-for-tat tariffs."The coalition posted a searchable map linking users to stories from farmers and businesses saying they're harmed by tariffs. The move comes just as Bloomberg reports the White House is proposing a new round of trade talks with China, after the previous four attempts faltered.

N.M. beef plant expands into bison meat processing

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018

A small New Mexico beef processing operation that opened its doors a year ago is adding bison meat packing in an effort to differentiate itself from larger competitors, according to a local news report. USA Beef Packing, based in Roswell, has signed a contract with a ranch near Amarillo, Texas, that will supply the bison and has agreed to pack the meat for retailers and distributors, the Roswell Daily Record reported.

African Swine Fever discovered in Belgium

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018

African Swine Fever (ASF) has been confirmed in two wild boars in Belgium, in an area about eight miles from the border with France and 11 miles from the border with Luxembourg.