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A corporate takeover of legal weed looms in California

Many small farmers in California worry about this new world of legal pot. They’ve been the backbone of the industry through the drug-war years of heavy enforcement and heavy penalties, and they know all too well what it’s like to live as outlaws. They now fear that big agriculture will take over the industry that some of them pioneered and worked in for generations. Under Proposition 64, also called the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, after Jan. 1, 2023, there will be no state cap in California on the size or production amount of marijuana farms.

As milk prices decline, worries about dairy farmer suicides rise

As the nation's dairy farmers struggle through their fourth year of depressed milk prices, concerns are rising that many are becoming depressed themselves. The outlook for the next year is so bleak, it's heightening worries — especially in the Northeast — about farmer suicides.  Agri-Mark Inc., a dairy cooperative with about 1,000 members, saw three farmers take their own lives in the past three years. The most recent was last month.

Court Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Dannon’s “Natural” Label

The Court found the Plaintiff’s claims to be conclusory–based on her feelings that GMO products were not natural.  Further, she offered no evidence of the feed actually fed to cows whose milk was used to make Dannon yogurt; instead, she based her case on her own speculation that because most of the milk in the United States is from cows given feed with GMO ingredients, the milk used by Dannon to make the yogurt she purchased was from cows fed GMO corn.  Further, she offered no evidence that she was unaware that the products were not wholly produced by milk from cows fed no GMOs.  On the con

Why Trump’s effort to curb immigration could hurt US economy

Nearly half the new jobs the government foresees emerging by 2026 will require only a high school diploma — or none at all. Those jobs share something else in common, too: Hundreds of thousands of them will likely be taken by low-skilled immigrants who are willing to do work that many Americans won’t. Lost in the immigration debate raging in Washington is the vital economic role played by immigrants who don’t have the education, training or skills that the Trump administration and many Republicans in Congress say should be a pre-requisite.

Give rural Americans broadband internet and clean water

To make it in the digital economy, the first step is to plug in. Nearly 40% of residents in the rural US remain without access to broadband. That includes many of the small towns whose economic bottom felt out when manufacturers left.   Stuck on the digital fringes, they stand little chance of attracting any kind of outside employer, says Roberto Gallardo, a regional economy specialist at Purdue University. It also puts them at risk of losing the little industry they still have.

CME reverses course on addressing cattle market volatility

Four months after the CME Group “declared victory over cattle market volatility” the futures exchange offered yet another surprise for the cattle industry. On Feb. 1, the CME issued an advisory notice to the marketplace that stated three delivery points would not renew their participation on the Live Cattle Futures Contract: North Platte, NE; Columbus, NE, and Pratt, KS.

USDA-ERS Report: Farmland Values, 2000-2016

Economic theory suggests that farmland values will change in response to changes in the underlying factors that support them, namely, returns to farmland. One measure of returns to farmland is net cash farm income per acre, or the net return that an acre of farmland generates.  Values for  both cropland and pastureland, two major uses for farmland, increased substantially in 2004-14, nearly doubling in real, or inflation-adjusted, terms.But national trends in U.S.


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