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Arizona egg bill gets unanimous Senate approval

A bill that would change the amount of time between when an egg is candled and sold, and still be able to be labeled with the AA grade is advancing through the Arizona legislature. Presently, eggs must be sold within 24 days of being laid in order to be called AA eggs. However, under legislation presented by Rep. Jill Norgaard, R-Phoenix, an egg could still carry the AA grade for up to 45 days after it is candled.

Pork industry looks at the cost of losing foreign-born workers

A reduction in the foreign-born workforce due to immigration policy changes would lead to decreased agricultural output and a drop in jobs in the sector as farmers abandon labor-intensive operations, according to a study commissioned by the National Pork Producers Council. The loss of foreign-born workers would not be offset by native-born workers and permanent residents, given an already-tight labor market, particularly in rural areas, according to the study by Iowa State University economists using research from USDA’s Economic Research Service.

Human-engineered changes on Mississippi River increased extreme floods

A new study has revealed for the first time the last 500-year flood history of the Mississippi River. It shows a dramatic rise in the size and frequency of extreme floods in the past century -- mostly due to projects to straighten, channelize, and bound the river with artificial levees.

Newly discovered hormone helps keep plants from dehydrating

Researchers have discovered a small hormone that helps plants retain water when none is available in the soil. The study shows how the peptide CLE25 moves from the roots to the leaves when water is scarce and helps prevent water loss by closing pores in the leaf surface.

Farm Bill must not cut SNAP

SNAP has a major impact on families, seniors and communities in our state and across the country. Here in Indiana, SNAP helped 672,000 people last year. That’s one in 10 Hoosiers who has been laid off, has experienced a serious illness or who otherwise might need a little extra help to get by in hard times. Nationwide, nearly two-thirds of the people who SNAP helps are children, seniors or people with disabilities.

Iowa Senate OKs bill opening door to hemp production, marketing

The production and marketing of industrial hemp would be authorized in Iowa in compliance with federal law under a bipartisan bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. The Senate approved Senate File 2398, titled the "Iowa Industrial Hemp Act," on a 49-0 vote, sending the measure to the House.

In the Battle for the American West, the Cowboys Are Losing

Ranchers who rely on public land to raise their cattle say they have shrinking access to wide open spaces, grass and water because of an array of regulations. Over the last four decades, the number of cows grazing on public lands has dropped by nearly half.In some cases, government officials curb grazing to protect natural resources from damage caused by cattle, and create preserves for threatened species.

How food stamps are keeping small farms in business

The local food movement has been criticized for catering to middle- and upper-class Americans, and for leaving behind the low-income in all of the hype for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and “know your farmer” initiatives touted in glossy food magazines. But in the last decade, food justice activists have sought to correct this, connecting low-income consumers with cooking classes, gardening workshops, children’s programming, and locally grown and culturally appropriate foods.

Will Trump crash the farm economy?

Donald Trump won over 60 percent of the 2016 vote in rural Iowa, where I live, and I haven’t heard much concern from Republicans over the president’s alleged infidelities with a porn actress, his ties to Russia or Jared Kushner’s real estate shenanigans. Or, for that matter, much concern about the administration scandals about wife beaters, Saudi princes, Ben Carson’s table or Scott Pruitt’s soundproof room.

China tariffs on U.S. ethanol to cut off imports in short-term

Chinese buyers of U.S. ethanol will have to cut imports because of higher tariffs, but eventually will have to return to the overseas market to meet government targets for using the fuel, industry participants and analysts said on Monday. China said late on Sunday it will slap an extra 15 percent tariff on ethanol imports from the United States, part of its response to U.S. duties on aluminium and steel imports. The previous duty was 30 percent. The tariffs, effective Monday, will neutralize cost savings from importing cheaper U.S.

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