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Pork to be $10 below cost of production this year

Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt paints a bleak picture for the U.S. pork industry in the coming months as broader trade issues with major export markets are resulting in retaliation against U.S. pork exports.  Hurt outlines prospects for large pork supplies pushing prices down as low as $10 per head below cost of production this year.

Undercover video shows abuse of pigs at Kentucky farm, group says

Mercy For Animals released hidden camera footage Tuesday from an undercover investigation they say they conducted at a facility owned by a Tennessee-based pig farm. The nonprofit, which is dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals, said the video was filmed at a Tosh Farms facility in Franklin, Kentucky, just a few miles from the Tennessee border. 

Rural America is spending 40% more on energy bills

Rural households across the United States spend a disproportionately high share of their income on energy bills — about 40 percent more than their metropolitan counterparts, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition. The problem is most glaring in the East and Southeast, and among low-income households across all regions.

Everyone Thinks They’ve Already Won the Battle Over the Word “Milk”

After recent statements from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb about what makes “milk,” both dairy and its plant-based opponents see a win.Can you call it “milk” if it didn’t come from a mammalian breast? That’s a question the Food and Drug Administration plans to take up soon, according to statements from Commissioner Scott Gottlieb at a Politico Pro Summit on Tuesday. But depending on who you ask, the agency has already answered it—either with a “no,” according to the National Milk Producers Federation, or with a “maybe,” according to the Plant Based Foods Association. 

Baltimore becomes first major city to remove sugary drinks from kids' menus

Baltimore has become the first major city to prohibit restaurants from including sugary drinks on children's menus. The measure, which went into effect on Wednesday, is intended to promote healthy habits in young children and their families by making the default kids' menu options water, milk and 100 percent fruit juices.Parents will still be able to order sugary drinks, such as sodas, for their children.

Federal Reserve: Observations on the Ag Economy- July 2018

Sixth District- Atlanta– “Agriculture conditions across the District were mixed. Significant rain improved drought conditions in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia; however, there were abnormally dry conditions reported mostly in Louisiana and to a lesser degree in Mississippi and Tennessee. There were also some areas that experienced above-normal temperatures and locally heavy rains, resulting in some crop stress. Seventh District- Chicago– “The outlook for agriculture income dimmed some over the reporting period as prices for most commodities fell.

Troubled Lost Valley Farm dairy owner faces criminal contempt charge

State regulators have filed criminal contempt of court charges against Oregon mega-dairy owner Greg te Velde, hoping to quickly close the dairy and stop it from continually violating environmental regulations. The state has asked a judge to issue remedial sanctions that would effectively shut down the dairy, called Lost Valley Farm, within 60 days. A hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. July 29 in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

All wildfires are not alike, but the U.S. is fighting them that way

In cities we know how to keep houses from burning. We have to relearn that in areas where human developments mingle with forests. It will need to be a local task, not just a federal one.  So far, the 2018 fire season has produced a handful of big fires in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado; conflagrations in Oklahoma and Kansas; and a fire bust in Alaska, along with garden-variety wildfires from Florida to Oregon. Some of those fires are in rural areas, some are in wildlands, and a few are in exurbs.

Two rural communities cross the political divide

When Massachusetts and Kentucky residents from politically polar-opposite regions met, it was “love at first sight.” Led by Paula Green, who has led “conflict transformation” efforts for decades in Bosnia, Rwanda and other trouble spots around the world, Hands Across the Hills has included more than a dozen hours of direct dialogue — last October in Leverett and then in April in Whitesburg, Ky.

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