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AgClips for December 28, 2017


Agclips for the week ending October 18, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Trump Gives Farmers a Jolt of Fuel

Wall Street Journal | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Energy News

President Trump’s decision last week to allow the year-round sale of E15 is a promise made and kept to farmers throughout rural America. E15 is shorthand for gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, instead of the more common E10, and was prohibited for sale in the summer by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011.Biofuels are a part of everyday life in Iowa, the top corn-and ethanol-producing state in the U.S. Ethanol supports more than 43,000 Iowa-based jobs and 350,000 jobs throughout the country, directly and indirectly.

World Heritage Sites threatened by rising sea levels

| Posted on October 18, 2018 in Rural News

In the Mediterranean region, there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in low-lying coastal areas. In the course of the 21st century, these sites will increasingly be at risk by storm surges and increasing coastal erosion due to sea-level rise.

Winter ticks killing moose at alarming rate

Science Daily | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Researchers have found that the swell of infestations of winter ticks -- which attach themselves to moose during the fall and feed throughout the winter -- is the primary cause of an unprecedented 70 percent death rate of calves over a three-year period.

Organic farming with gene editing: An oxymoron or a tool for sustainable agriculture?

The Conversation | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Many organic advocates claim that genetically engineered crops are harmful to human health, the environment, and the farmers who work with them.

FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List

FDA | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Food News

The FDA is amending its food additive regulations in response to two food additive petitions, to no longer allow for the use of a total of 7 synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants). The FDA determined that the data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Improving Kids’ Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Mr.

America Is Drowning in Milk Nobody Wants

Bloomberg | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Dairy farmers are under siege thanks to low prices and changing tastes. Even a one-week holiday shutdown by yogurt giant Chobani inflicted pain.New York dairy farmers who jumped at the chance to expand their herds five years ago are now wondering whether it was the right move. “We were told we needed to expand,” said Deb Windecker, a dairy and beef farmer in the Mohawk Valley, and a former Chobani supplier. “ ‘Yogurt capital, grow, grow, grow.’ And now everybody’s turned their back on us.”

Beyond Meat vegan food company taps investment banks for IPO

CNBC | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Food News

Beyond Meat has hired J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC. The IPO will be the first public stock offering for one of the slew of new companies that make vegetarian meat products that also appeal to carnivores.It's current investors include Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio Jack & Suzy Welch, Kleiner Perkins and Tyson Foods.

Trump tells May to abandon 'unjustified' food standards for Brexit trade deal

Business Insider | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Federal News

Donald Trump announces his plan to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK after Brexit.

Farmers suing Monsanto, BASF over dicamba urge judge to keep litigation alive

Reuters | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

Farmers suing over crop damage allegedly caused by Bayer AG unit Monsanto Co and BASF Corp’s dicamba-based seeds and weedkillers urged a federal judge on Monday to reject the companies’ motions to dismiss the cases. In filings opposing the requests for dismissal, lawyers representing the roughly 20 farms told U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, that the companies had ignored facts in an attempt to avoid responsibility for the alleged “ecological disaster” they created.

e-quarters of large U.S. slaughterhouses violate water pollution permits

Environment Texas | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

Three-quarters of large U.S. meat processing plants that discharge their wastewater directly into streams and rivers violated their pollution control permits over the last two years, with some dumping as much nitrogen pollution as small cities — and facing little or no enforcement. Texas is home to the third-worst polluter in the country — the Pilgrims Pride poultry processing plant in Mount Pleasant.

Kansas Forest Service, fire officials say state’s wildfire suppression capabilities inadequate

High Plains Journal | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka. “We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.

Homeland security dog intercepts roasted pig head at international airport

ABC | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Food News

A passenger traveling from Ecuador was relieved of leftovers when an intrepid beagle found a roasted pig's head in baggage at the world's busiest airport. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Agriculture Detector dog named Hardy alerted to the baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Oct. 11. CBP agriculture specialists then discovered a 2-pound cooked pig's head, which was seized and destroyed.

Natural Resource Defense Council fails most fast food chains on antibiotics

Eco Watch | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Food News

Right now, many burger chains are putting burger lovers in a bind. If they want to eat meat raised with responsible antibiotic use practices, chicken is the best choice at many mainstream chains. But if we are to make headway on antibiotic resistance crisis, the beef (and pork) industry must be part of the solution.

Edible cottonseed review shifts to FDA

Politico | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Federal, Food News

Cottonseed could become a high-protein food option, providing a boon to cotton growers, if FDA signs off on a new genetically engineered variety. Traditional cottonseed is toxic for humans and most animals because it contains a poisonous substance called gossypol. But a team of ag scientists at Texas A&M developed a type of cottonseed that contains very low levels of gossypol, making it edible for humans — and creating the possibility that the tree nut could help address global malnutrition. USDA green-lighted the biotechnology on Tuesday.

Florida Governor issues ultimatum to Verizon: Give me a plan to restore service, and treat customers fairly

Tampa Bay Times | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued another rebuke of Verizon today, telling the cell provider in a terse press release that he expects the company to give him a plan today to restore service to the areas hit by Hurricane Michael, and that all cell providers should waive bills for October. The press release was addressed to all cell phone providers, but it singled out Verizon, which has struggled to restore service in Bay County, where Michael made landfall.

How Fentanyl Changes the Opioid Equation

Pew Trust | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News

More than a decade into the opioid epidemic, illicit fentanyl and related synthetic drugs are now driving the nation’s spiraling overdose death toll. Involved in nearly half of the roughly 200 U.S. drug overdose deaths every day, fentanyl appears to be here to stay. “Even if we do a really good job at the border and start making a serious dent in shipments from China and Mexico, we need to anticipate that people will simply start cooking it here. It’s already happening,” U.S.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease detected in Minnesota deer for first time

Outdoor News | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has confirmed the first cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in Minnesota deer. Six of seven animals in a small herd of captive white-tailed deer in Goodhue County died of the disease earlier this month. The remaining buck appears healthy at this time and is showing no clinical signs associated with this disease.This is the first detection of this disease in a Minnesota deer, yet it is widespread across North America.

USDA Announces Deregulation of GE Low-Gossypol Cotton

USDA | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

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. 

US, South African farmers cry fowl over Trump metal tariffs

| Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

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.

Trump team makes controversial change to allow chicken plants to operate at faster speeds

Washington Post | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Federal, Food News

The Trump administration is now allowing more chicken-processing plants to operate at faster speeds, a controversial move that some fear will hurt workers and chicken consumers by lowering safety standards. Plants that receive a waiver from the Trump administration will be able to process up to 175 birds per minute, up from the old limit of 140 birds per minute.

Sony Shifts US 100% Renewable Energy Goal Forward By A Decade

Clean Technica | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Energy News

Only a month after it announced that it was joining the RE100 initiative and committing to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040, entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corporation has announced this week it is bringing forward its US goal by a decade.

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

Science Daily | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture, Energy News

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 in Agriculture News

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.

Work Requirements and Safety Net Programs

Hamilton Project | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Federal News

Basic assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program) and Medicaid ensure families have access to food and medical care when they are low-income. Some policymakers at the federal and state levels intend to add new work requirements to SNAP and Medicaid. In this paper, we analyze those who would be impacted by an expansion of work requirements in SNAP and an introduction of work requirements into Medicaid.

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

Ag Web | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

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.

No vote on USMCA until next year, McConnell says

Washington Examiner | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Federal News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the Senate wasn't going to be able to vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade before the end of the year. Postponing the vote until next year means that President Trump may have to get it through a divided Congress, should Democrats regain majorities after the fall election.

USDA to grant license for African Swine Fever vaccine

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) published in the Federal Register a notice of intent to grant animal health company Zoetis LLC an exclusive license to two patents related to the company’s development of a vaccine to combat African Swine Fever (ASF).  The move comes as ASF riddles China’s massive hog population and continues to move in Europe, threatening to hamper large pork exporting nations there, and as U.S. government, industry and health officials work to prevent its introduction in the United States.

Can a California town move back from the sea?

High Country News | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News

Broadly speaking, though, those practical things are limited. According to the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, or SPUR, a city can undertake one of several strategies: Build a barrier, armor the coast with levees and seawalls, elevate land, create “living shorelines” to absorb flooding and slow erosion, or retreat. This last strategy, “managed retreat,” SPUR warns, “is a political quagmire. It involves tremendous legal and equity issues, because not all property owners are willing sellers.

Try, try again: Advancing animal disease traceability

High Plains Journal | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Agriculture News

Getting a nationwide group of notoriously independent and private people to voluntarily turn over information to the government can be a difficult obstacle to overcome. The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a major push to identify and track livestock in 2007, back when South Dakota native Bruce Knight was undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. The “primary emphasis is about supporting animal health,” and supporting producers, Knight said at the time. Some livestock producers jumped on board, but many did not.

Ocean temperatures rise, boosting odds of El Nino ahead

Capital Press | Posted on October 17, 2018 in Rural News

Pacific Ocean temperatures are rising along the equator, a signal that winter likely will be warmer than normal in the Northwest.Federal climatologists peg the odds that an El Nino will form in the next couple of months at 70 to 75 percent, a 5 percent increase since mid-September. The warm ocean should influence late winter weather, but El Ninos historically have had little effect on snow accumulation in Washington before Jan.

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