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Farm income trend looks to continue in 2017

Speaking at the 93rd Annual USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va., a trio of farm economists offered a somewhat gloomy picture of the farm economy for the year ahead, although one not unlike the trends observed in recent years. Net farm income is projected to drop almost $6 billion in 2017, tumbling primarily on decreases in the crop sector to a $62.3 billion total. The drop is a decrease of about 8.7 percent, the fourth consecutive year of declines after record highs were observed in 2013. If realized, the projected figure would be the lowest since 2002.

Pioneering project combines wind and solar

America’s first ever solar-wind hybrid power generation project is set to harness innovative technology supplied by GE Renewables.Expected to enter commercial operation in August, the 4.6MW community based project in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, is being developed by Juhl Energy.

Nebraska coalition aims for property tax reform, stable school funding

Nebraska taxpayers, farmers, ranchers, teachers and others ratcheted up the pressure for reducing property taxes.Sixteen organizations representing thousands of state residents announced they have joined forces as Nebraskans United for Property Tax Reform and Education.Leaders said the new coalition represents an expansion of efforts to reduce the state’s reliance on property taxes, while providing adequate and sustainable education funding. The coalition includes the Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Farmers Union — two groups that often differ on agricultural issues.

Irish study says people with highest dairy consumption have lower BMI

A new study looking at dairy consumption and its relationship with metabolic health has delivered some promising results for the dairy industry. The study examined the impact of dairy foods on markers of fatness and metabolic health.   Cheese consumption was not associated with body fatness or LDL cholesterol.

California county may have to pay farmer 48$ million

San Bernardino County could pay $48 million for the property of one of the few remaining Chino dairy farmers after the family complained in a lawsuit that most of their spread, located under a landing pattern for Chino Airport, had been turned into a no-build zone without compensation. The lawsuit, which went into private arbitration, claimed that the county had, bit by bit over the past 25 years, turned most of the 58 acres of dairy land owned since the 1960s by Jim and Annie Nyenhuis into a runway protection zone.

Germany’s environment minister bans meat at functions

The head of Germany’s environmental agency has directed the department to serve only vegetarian dishes at official functions. Quoting an email from an environmental ministry official, the agency has a responsibility to combat the “negative effects of meat consumption” and must “set an example,” the media reports said. This, although the meat ban does not extend to the agency’s own cafeteria, which continues to offer meat options with every meal.

White House: Feds will step up marijuana law enforcement

The White House said Thursday it expects law enforcement agents to enforce federal marijuana laws when they come into conflict with states where recreational use of the drug is permitted. "I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it," White House press secretary Sean Spicer said regarding federal drug laws, which still list marijuana as an illegal substance.That's a reversal from the Obama administration's stance, which laid out in an official memo that the federal government wouldn't interfere in states where nonmedical use of marijuana is allowed.

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