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AgClips for December 28, 2017


Agclips for the week ending January 22, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Cal-Maine: Undercover video showed ‘isolated incident’

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 21, 2018 in Agriculture News

Cal-Maine Foods has taken corrective action and has been cooperating with the investigations of state and county officials after the company was targeted by an animal rights activist in a video depicting mistreatment of hens at its egg production facility in Lake Wales, Florida.

Canadian beef checkoff assessment to more than double

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on January 20, 2018 in News

Canadian cattle producers will pay more than double their current national beef checkoff assessment by the end of 2018. The new figure will be C$2.50 per animal sold, up from the C$1.00 in place since 2002, to fund research and marketing of beef.The increase in assessment was part of a national beef strategy industry leaders issued in 2014 to help boost Canadian beef sales globally.

Trump's coal job push stumbles in most states - data

Reuters | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Energy News

President Donald Trump’s effort to put coal miners back to work stumbled in most coal producing states last year, even as overall employment in the downtrodden sector grew modestly, according to preliminary government data obtained by Reuters.  The effort has had little impact on domestic demand for coal so far, with U.S. utilities still shutting coal-fired power plants and shifting to cheaper natural gas - moving toward a lower carbon future despite the direction the White House is plotting under Trump.

Livestock air emissions deadline looms

Indiana Farm Bureau | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

A spokesperson for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the U.S. Coastguard national response center could crash when the livestock industry files air emissions reports later this month. Chief environmental counsel Scott Yager tells Brownfield more than 200,000 livestock producers will have 24-hours to call the Coastguard on January 22, to meet a new air emissions requirement.

USDA Announces Proposed Rule to Modernize Swine Inspection

USDA | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced its continued effort to modernize inspection systems through science-based approaches to food safety. USDA is proposing to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), while also requiring additional pathogen sampling for all swine slaughter establishments.

Dicamba Cases May Be Centralized

DTN | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Attorneys representing farmers from across the country who filed multiple lawsuits alleging off-target dicamba damage to their crops will try to convince a federal panel of judges next week that the cases should be heard in a single court. The seven-judge U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation is slated to hear oral arguments on Jan. 25 in Miami, Florida, on a motion by attorneys representing farmers in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri to move all the cases to one court.The question at hand will be what venue would best serve the interests of all the litigants.

Panera asks FDA to define an 'egg' in a swipe at competitors' breakfast sandwiches

CNBC | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Food News

Panera Bread has petitioned the FDA to define what an "egg" is.The soup and sandwich restaurant said a number of its competitors — such as Burger King, Taco Bell and Dunkin — sell egg patties that contain more than five ingredients.

Poultry Company to Pay for Well Drilling Amid Water Concerns

US News and World Report | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

An executive with the poultry processing company in Delaware that's been cited for spraying wastewater with excessive nitrate levels onto nearby fields says Mountaire Farms is willing to pay for drilling deep wells for concerned property owners.

Gene edited crops should be exempted from GM food laws, says EU lawyer

The Guardian | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Gene editing technologies should be largely exempted from EU laws on GM food, although individual states can regulate them if they choose, the European court’s advocate general has said. The opinion may have far-reaching consequences for new breeding techniques that can remove specific parts of a plant’s genetic code and foster herbicide-resistant traits.Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in the technology, which could be subject to labelling, authorisation and safety checks, if the court decides it falls under the EU’s GM legislation later this year.

'Entire aisles are empty': Whole Foods employees reveal why stores are facing a crisis of food shortages

Business Insider | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Food News

Whole Foods employees say stores are suffering from food shortages because of a newly implemented inventory-management system called order-to-shelf, or OTS. Whole Foods says the system reduces unnecessary inventory, lowers costs, and frees up employees to focus on customer service.Employees acknowledge that less food is spoiling in storage rooms, but they describe OTS as a "militaristic" system that crushes morale and leads to many items being out of stock."Last week, we ran out of onions and potatoes twice," an employee of a Brooklyn Whole Foods store said.

EIA Expects Total U.S. Fossil Fuel Production to Reach Record Levels in 2018 and 2019

Oil Voice | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Energy News

In its January 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), EIA forecasts that total fossil fuels production in the United States will average almost 73 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, the highest level of production on record. EIA expects total fossil fuel production to then set another record in 2019, with production forecast to rise to 75 quadrillion Btu.

CoBank sees mixed but improving outlook for rural America in 2018

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Rural News

A new report from CoBank has some good news and bad news for the farm economy in 2018. The co-op bank’s Knowledge Exchange Division projects an expanding global economy, strong U.S. consumer confidence and persistent economic recovery in many rural areas. However, it also forecasts another year of belt-tightening due to “lingering stress” from low commodity prices.“The rural economy is uniquely impacted by what happens in Washington, the broader U.S. economy and around the world,” says Dan Kowalski, vice president of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.

Grain elevators desperate for tax bill fix

Agri-Pulse | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

Key senators are scrambling to rework a benefit for farmer cooperatives that was created by the new tax law, and the fix couldn’t come soon enough for owners of private elevators like Doug Bell.  The co-op provision was meant to replace the cooperatives’ Section 199 deduction that the law repealed, but tax experts say that the new deduction is so lucrative that farmers will have a strong incentive to sell to a co-op rather than a privately owned or publicly held grain buyer.

Low temperatures spell trouble for winter wheat

KSN | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

The extreme cold has been frustrating for many, but for some farmers, it’s a disaster. “It’s gotten so cold that the ground is actually freezing,” said Lakin farmer Kyler Millershaski.On his western Kansas fields, he’s seeing warning signs of winter kill.“The ground is actually shrinking, so you’ve got these cracks going down. The down side is that just causes the ground to dry out more.” Four months ago, September was a rainy month, and things looked great for Millershaski’s wheat.“It never rained since we planted it, so in the last three months, we haven’t gotten any measurable moisture.

More genes are active in high-performance corn | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

When two maize inbred lines are crossed with each other, an interesting effect occurs: The hybrid offspring have a significantly higher yield than either of the two parent plants. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now investigated a number of genetically distinct hybrids. They showed that the offspring had many more active genes than the original parents. These results may help in the cultivation of even higher-yielding maize varieties. They are published in the journal Current Biology.

California Dairy Farmers Seek Emergency Milk Price Increase

Ag Web | Posted on January 20, 2018 in Agriculture News

Western United Dairymen (WUD) and the California Dairy Campaign (CDC) have petitioned the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) for an emergency hearing to increase over-base milk prices by about 35¢/cwt for the next 12 months. CDFA has 15 days in which to grant or deny the petition for hearing.

MacAulay takes case for NAFTA to U.S. farmers

Manitoba Cooperator | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Lawrence MacAulay’s speech in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was well received by an estimated 5,000 people attending the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee Jan. 7. The bureau, the United States’ largest farm organization, also supports NAFTA.“My message to you this morning is the Government of Canada is committed to working with you to strengthen Canada-U.S.

Pa. road map for agriculture's future comes 'at critical intersection' for the industry

Penn Live | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

Pennsylvania's agricultural industry is among the most diverse and powerful in the nation. And yet that industry faces its share of changes and challenges -- in technology, consumer tastes and a rapidly changing workforce; as well as opportunities.

Salmon escape leads Cooke into legal fight with Washington state | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

The escape of more than 160,000 salmon from a Cooke Aquaculture pen in Washington last year has led to a legal battle between the company and the state. Cooke Aquaculture Pacific is challenging a decision by the state's Department of Natural Resources to terminate the company's ease to operate a salmon farm in Port Angeles, about 128 kilometres west of Seattle.

Robust Corn, Soybean Production Make Exports Increasingly Important

Illinois Farm Policy News | Posted on January 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Dr. Cowley explained that, “Although farm income appears to have stabilized in the short to longer term, one risk to the outlook has been growing supplies. Yields for corn and soybeans have been above 20-year trend levels since 2014 and have contributed to increasing inventories.” “In addition, soybean inventories have doubled since 2015. Growth in U.S.

Pet Translator: Scientist Developing Device To Convert Dog Barks Into English Language

Tech Times | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural News

An AI algorithm can convert the vocalizations of prairie dogs into English. Now, animal behavior expert Con Slobodchikoff is working on a pet translator that can translate a dog's barks into human language.The idea of humans being able to talk to and understand animals may soon become a reality. A researcher is working on a device that may be used as a pet language translator in the future.

New Mexico proposes pet food fee to help spay, neuter pets

Pet Food Industry | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

New Mexico lawmakers proposed a bill that would raise the registration fee pet food manufacturers pay. The bill would raise the fee from US$2 to US$100 for each product sold in New Mexico. 

Owner of Virginia seafood company charged with conspiracy

WBJ7 | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Food News

The owner of a Virginia seafood company has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the federal government by mixing foreign crab meat with Atlantic blue crab, then labeling the blended seafood and selling it to customers as a U.S. product.

Farmers post record crop for soybeans, peanuts, canola, hops

1101 Now | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers have harvested record crops for soybeans, peanuts, canola, rapeseed and hops. The agency released its annual crop production report Friday summarizing the 2017 crop year.It shows that peanut production jumped 30 percent to 7.2 billion pounds. Production of hops, a main ingredient in beer, grew 20 percent as Idaho's production surpassed Oregon's for the first time.

Ga. Will Need To Ease Regulations, Provide Cash To Expand Rural Broadband

WABE | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Georgia lawmakers said they want to expand access to the Internet. Internet service providers have said with the repeal of net neutrality, they’re more inclined to invest in rural areas, but it’s not clear companies will invest without public dollars. Georgia lawmakers have prioritized expanding internet access through the Rural Development Council, said state Rep. Ed Setzler.

Michigan landowners’ long-shot lawsuit has high stakes for wind industry

Midwest Energy News | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Energy News

An unlikely legal win by neighbors of a Michigan wind farm would have the potential to chill wind energy development in the state, legal experts say. A group of landowners filed suit in state court in August alleging a wind project near Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula is causing adverse health effects.

Low gas prices set to drive decline in coal generation

Utility Dive | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Energy News

U.S. natural gas production is expected to reach the highest year-over-year increase in 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration’s new Short-term Energy Outlook (STEO).

New England congressional delegations submit bill to ban offshore drilling

Maine Press Herald | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Federal News

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives from New England has introduced a bill to prohibit oil and gas drilling off the New England coast. The New England Coastline Protection Act would prohibit oil and gas extraction activities off New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.It’s a response to the Trump administration’s planto open nearly all U.S. coastlines to offshore oil and gas drilling.

New Approach to Curb Chronic Wasting Disease

Public News Service | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, Rural News

Montana is wrestling with the best way to manage Chronic Wasting Disease among deer, elk and moose.  One wildlife specialist maintains preserving predators is the answer. Under its current plan, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set up survey hunts of deer to determine where hotbeds of CWD are located. The state's second survey hunt in north central Montana began last weekend, and lasts through Feb. 15.

Sustainability on Michigan farms

Michigan State University | Posted on January 17, 2018 in Agriculture, SARL Members and Alumni News

In this six part series, we are discovering what sustainability on Michigan farms means, looking at examples of how farms are demonstrating that sustainability and how exploring how MSU Extension is working with producers to become even more sustainable. This sixth article’s sustainability topic addresses the “enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole” portion. If there is anything that is as hard to get an agreement upon as the definition of sustainability, it would be the definition of quality of life.