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Washington ranchers struggle with fire recovery

The largest wildfire in Washington this season received little publicity, mainly because it was over so fast. Whipped by sustained winds of 32 mph and gusts at 40-plus, the Grass Valley Fire burned 75,538 acres of mostly very dry private rangeland in northern Douglas County. Winds lessened and 200 firefighters from 10 local fire districts stopped it just shy of the towns of Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam. It mostly happened during eight hours on Aug. 11.Now, two months later, about 20 affected ranches are struggling to survive and recover.

NC swine lagoons still in trouble from Hurricane Florence

Swine lagoons in North Carolina still are showing signs of damage or are at risk nearly a month after Hurricane Florence made landfall, according to the latest survey by state environmental officials. The North Carolina Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reported that six facilities with a total of six lagoons suffered actual structural damage, which may or may not have led to hog waste being released, as of Oct. 6.

Oklahoma puts brakes on poultry expansion, for now

Oklahoma’s government implemented a moratorium on applications to build new poultry feeding operations. The State Board of Agriculture’s decision comes about a month after Gov. Mary Fallin and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker announced that the state and tribe were forming a council to evaluate the expansion of poultry growth and its impact on rural communities in northeast Oklahoma.At the time of the council’s formation, the state had issued 41 permits to expand or build new poultry houses within the last year, with several more pending.

Perdue says farmer aid could be less than first estimated

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $12 billion package to offset farmers losses from the imposition of tariffs American exports could end up shrinking after an agreement to update NAFTA was struck, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. The aid package includes cash payments for farmers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs.

Minnesota grant program offers money, and legitimacy, for urban agriculture

Urban farming in Minnesota reached a milestone this summer, when the state announced the first round of grants for agriculture education and development projects in cities. It’s the first time the state has allocated money specifically for urban agriculture, and it took several tries to get the legislation passed.

Here’s what Trump’s ethanol plan means for farmers, refiners and motorists

President Donald Trump’s plans to allow the sale of a higher concentration of ethanol in gasoline throughout the year would appease U.S. corn farmers who have been stung by low corn prices as a result of the U.S.-China trade dispute and likely even lead to lower prices at the pump. Some refiners and older car engines, however, may pay the price.

Regulators face food fight over lab-grown meat

A food fight has been brewing over how the government should regulate animal tissue grown in labs. The prospect of lab-grown tissue has raised the hopes of animal welfare and environmental groups because it is created without slaughter and meant to substitute for traditional pork, beef, chicken, and fish.

Danny Meyer Just Made a Big Investment in Food Delivery

Danny Meyer wants to be your delivery man. His private-equity fund Enlightened Hospitality Investments has led a new funding round into Goldbelly, the online food market that brings local specialties to a national audience. Following the success of Shake Shack, Meyer — once a neighborhood restaurateur who didn’t even stray far from Union Square — has been busy investing in food businesses like Los Angeles chain Tender Greens and Portland ice-cream maker Salt & Straw.Goldbelly is a one-stop resource for American regional foods that smartly capitalizes on people’s food obsessions.

'Refugee' soybeans in the Dakotas seek a home after China stops buying as part of its trade war with the US

Last year at this time there were trainloads of soybeans headed to the Pacific Northwest from the Dakotas to meet orders from Chinaa. But the U.S.-China trade war and tariffs on American soybeans has caused Chinese buyers to stay away.That's proving to be especially painful for farmers in the Dakotas, where lower cash prices are offered by the local grain elevators.Now there are so-called "refugee" soybeans that need a new home.

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