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Hawaii plan would offset cost of organic farm certification

A bill passed by the Hawaii Legislature sets up tax breaks for Hawaii farmers to offset the cost of becoming certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hawaii is the first state to pass such a law.

Under the Hawaii bill farmers could get up to $50,000 in tax credits for qualifying expenses, which include application fees, inspection costs and equipment or supplies needed to produce organic products. The state would be capped at giving out $2 million in tax breaks per year.

Mechanical Onion Harvesting a Game Changer

Ride through rural South Georgia this time of year and you'll see teams of migrant workers picking sweet onions from the field.  Farmers have struggled for decades to use a federal program to get documented workers. At one Tattnall County farm, a labor crisis may have helped find a solution.

Gary Ray looked behind him as a machine replaced dozens of workers harvesting onions from his field. For years, his family has endured the red tape to get legal migrant workers through a federal program. He says this year, the workers didn't show.

Opponents call cage-free egg ballot question rotten

A dispute over a ballot question that would mandate all eggs sold in Massachusetts be from hens that are cage-free is headed to the state’s highest court, a sign of the increasing intensity in a battle between agricultural interests and animal welfare advocates.  The Supreme Judicial Court on June 8 will hear arguments in a lawsuit backed by a group allied with the agriculture industry.  Protect the Harvest is disputing Attorney General Maura Healey’s approval of the referendum language, arguing it doesn’t follow the state Constitution’s requirements for initiative petitions.And the nonprof

Peanuts, John Block Commentary on Trade

As a farmer, I would not like it if Europe shipped subsidized beef into our market. That would undercut our prices. What if Brazil shipped subsidized soybeans to us? We would be furious.

Did you know that the U.S. government does this all of the time? Think about it this way. There are millions of people underfed, some starving, in many countries. The humanitarian thing to do is, send them food. And we should, but it’s not as simple as that.

Cartoonist says his work got him axed

A freelance cartoonist says he was fired for drawing an editorial cartoon that bemoaned Iowa farmers' dwindling profits while CEOs at large agricultural corporations earn millions of dollars.

The organic food revolution that is minting millionaires

Consumer demand is helping many start-ups pull off a successful launch, even in an industry notoriously difficult to crack because of competition from large retailers. Take Thrive Market, a Los Angeles start-up that sells specialty organic food and beauty products. The online grocer garnered $10 million in sales after just 17 months from its launch - a stunning rate of growth -  that has surprised its founders and investors, as well as execs across the food industry.

Atlantic Sunrise pipeline gets a green light from FERC and a lawsuit from enviros

The Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project won preliminary approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday, paving the way for the $3 billion expansion of the Transco system to move forward as environmentalists simultaneously filed a federal lawsuit objecting to the pipeline. FERC released its draft environmental impact statement, concluding the environmental impact would not be significant.

Renewables Swamp Natural Gas in First Quarter 2016

Setting a new lopsided quarterly record, renewable sources outpaced — in fact, swamped — natural gas by a factor of more than 70:1 for new electrical generating capacity placed in-service during the first three months of calendar year 2016. According to the latest just-released monthly "Energy Infrastructure Update" report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of Energy Projects, nine new "units" of wind provided 707 MW, followed by 44 units of solar (522 MW), 9 units of biomass (33 MW), and one unit of hydropower (29 MW).

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