Skip to content Skip to navigation

Agriculture News

His farm is buried under lava, but he can’t find relief from payments on his state agricultural loan

Hawaii News Now | Posted on October 17, 2018

A Big Island farmer whose fields are buried under lava says the state is still requiring him pay off a $22,000 loan on the land — even though he’s not allowed to step foot on the property.“The state of Hawaii sanctioned me to farm in lava zone 1. They knew I was in lava zone 1. They financed me," said farmer Gregg Adams, who owns Dragon Fruit Farms — about a mile beyond the checkpoint on Highway 132.“They had a vested interest in me. Now they’re saying, ‘Oh well, you still own the money.’”Despite losing everything, Adams says he’s ready to start farming some place new.However, he says a lack of help has made it all but impossible. Adams has gotten a $34,000 from FEMA to help cover the loss of his home, but has gotten nothing to help cover the loss of his farm.“May 26th is when the lava took my farm,” Adams said.“I lost my home. I lost green houses. I lost packing sheds. I lost all my equipment.”

USDA Announces Deregulation of GE Low-Gossypol Cotton

USDA | Posted on October 17, 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announces today the deregulation of Texas A&M’s cotton variety genetically engineered to have ultra-low levels of gossypol in its seed. 
Gossypol is a naturally occurring compound in the pigment of cotton plants and protects them from pests and diseases. This GE variety maintains protective levels of gossypol in the plants, but the compound is significantly reduced in the seed. This benefits agriculture by lowering cottonseed oil refining costs, and potentially expands the use of cottonseed in the livestock and aquaculture feed industries, as well as for human food uses.  As part of the petition process, APHIS prepared a draft plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) and draft environmental assessment (EA), and made these documents available for a 30-day public review and comment period on August 1, 2018. 

US, South African farmers cry fowl over Trump metal tariffs

| Posted on October 17, 2018

Which came first, the chicken or the trade war? Well before President Donald Trump began slapping tariffs on steel, aluminum and other imported goods, there was a deal with South Africa that gave U.S. chicken producers duty-free access to a market that had effectively been shut to them for years.But that trade deal, worth tens of millions of dollars to American businesses, now is being threatened by Trump’s metal tariffs.A group of senators from chicken-producing states — Democrat Chris Coons of Delaware and Republicans Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Roger Wicker of Mississippi — have detailed their concerns in a recent letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. They cite a lawsuit in South Africa that aims to end duty-free imports of American chicken unless South Africa is exempted from Trump’s metal tariffs.The dispute illustrates the risk Trump runs by employing tariffs so aggressively. The president has wielded the import taxes — real and threatened — as part of a campaign to force countries like Mexico and Canada into trade pacts with terms he considers more favorable to the United States. But along with Trump’s confrontational approach is the potential fallout for American companies and consumers, as countries take retaliatory action.And it’s also a reminder of how much clout the poultry industry has in certain states. In Delaware, where industry titans Mountaire Farms and Perdue Farms operate processing plants, chicken accounts for 70 percent of the state’s 

Corteva study finds gender discrimination is widespread in agriculture

American Agriculturist | Posted on October 17, 2018

The majority of women reported progress toward gender equality, but 72% said it would take decades to achieve full equality.Women in agriculture say widespread gender discrimination persists and poses obstacles to their ability to help feed the world, according to a new study from Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. The study included 4,160 respondents living in 17 countries in both the developed and developing world on five different continents.“We conducted this study to further understand the current status of women farmers around the world - from the largest farms in the most advanced economies to the smallest subsistence farms in the developing world - and to create a baseline from which we can measure progress going forward,” said Krysta Harden, Vice President External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer of Corteva Agriscience.

North Carolina lawmakers approve $400M in Florence spending

AP News | Posted on October 17, 2018

The sharp partisanship that’s typified North Carolina’s government was buried temporarily on Monday as legislators approved spending $400 million to quickly help people and communities reeling from flooding left by Hurricane Florence and setting aside another $450 million for upcoming needs. The emergency spending plan unveiled a month after Florence slammed into the state would help farmers and fishermen who suffered economic losses, keep college students in school despite storm-related setbacks, and repair damaged school buildings.Most of the money would come from the state’s emergency reserves. The state has about $2 billion in rainy-day funds, and this year’s state budget left $560 million unspent.“There’ll be no tax increases and no interruptions or disruptions from a budgetary perspective of any of our existing important programs,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Raleigh-area Republican who heads the House budget-writing committee.The Florence relief spending legislators have promised so far represents about a half of the $1.5 billion Gov. Roy Cooper’s office estimated last week will be needed over a five-year recovery.

Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern

Washington Post | Posted on October 17, 2018

t is the fall harvest here in this fertile stretch of oaks and hills that produces some of the country’s best wine. This season, though, workers also are plucking the sticky, fragrant flowers of a new crop. Marijuana is emerging among the vineyards, not as a rival to the valley’s grapes but as a high-value commodity that could help reinvigorate a fading agricultural tradition along the state’s Central Coast. Brushed by ocean breeze, cannabis has taken root, offering promise and prompting the age-old question of whether there can be too much of a good thing.Cannabis has been fully legal in California for less than a year, and no place is generating more interest in it than the stretch of coast from Monterey to here in Santa Barbara County, where farmers now hold more marijuana cultivation licenses than in any other county.

Applying auto industry's fuel-efficiency standards to agriculture could net billions

Science Daily | Posted on October 17, 2018

Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded.

Subsidies prevent farmers from reaching their full potential

The Hill | Posted on October 17, 2018

American farmers and low-income families are understandably uneasy with the recent expiration of the farm bill, although the eventual passage of another iteration is all but assured. Regardless, we should take a moment to ask what would happen if we repealed farm bill agricultural subsidies instead. The idea may sound fanciful. We’ve had farm subsidies for over 80 years; it’s hard to conceive of an agriculture industry without extensive government intervention. But we already have a good test case for what America’s farmland would look like without the farm bill: New Zealand.Despite the short-term difficulty, ending farm subsidies and trade restrictions has been a good decision in the long run. New Zealand’s agriculture industry has since become something of a Cinderella story around the world.

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

Bloomberg | Posted on October 17, 2018

What can be harder to decipher is how Americans use their land to create wealth. The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures that Americans use to feed themselves, power their economy and extract value for business and pleasure.Using surveys, satellite images and categorizations from various government agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the U.S. into six major types of land. The data can’t be pinpointed to a city block—each square on the map represents 250,000 acres of land. But piecing the data together state-by-state can give a general sense of how U.S. land is used.


Have you seen these pictures of a silo collapse and barn damage?

Ag Web | Posted on October 17, 2018

Silo collapse kills one cow and traps 13 calves. A silo containing large amounts of grain collapsed onto one of the main barns at Cherry Hill Farm in Lunenburg, Mass., Sunday morning, trapping 13 calves and killing one cow. The owner and his daughter were inside the barn as the silo began to collapse, however, the two were able to move some of the animals out before the silo crashed.