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Oyster farms, shorebird vie for space on NJ bay beaches

Oyster farming is the kind of business an environmentalist should love: it doesn't use harmful chemicals or deplete natural resources, and the locally grown shellfish actually help clean the water.

It's a green, sustainable industry that brings nearly $1 million a year to growers in the New Jersey Delaware Bay area and puts shellfish on restaurant plates around the northeast.

But when that industry sits on the lone feeding ground in the western hemisphere for the largest population of a threatened species of shorebird, things get complicated.

Billy Busch Offers $1 More Than Siblings for Grant's Farm

Kraftig Brewing Co. founder William K. "Billy" Busch is now offering $1 more than his siblings in his effort to buy Grant's Farm in south St. Louis County.

Busch on Monday increased his offer for the attraction to $26,000,001. He is offering an additional $8 million to buy the family mansion and 22 acres that adjoin the popular attraction that includes 900 animals and is home to some of the Budweiser Clydesdales. It opened in 1954.

Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes

“Protecting and enhancing pollinators in urban landscapes for the US North Central Region” provides information for landscapers and gardeners who want to attract pollinators and protect them during pest management tactics or pesticide applications.

This 30-page PDF resource includes:

Pennsylvania Ag Secretary warns of new invasive insect

An invasive pest new to the United States was discovered for the first time on a farm in Lancaster County and has been found to have spread to at least four other counties, according to officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Do It Yourself High-Speed Internet

By coincidence, I recently ran into an Indiana farmer/entrepreneur who is working on ways to cross to the internet divide. Steve Gerrish calls his company airBridge, and its business model is to help farmers establish robust local high-speed internet networks. The idea isn't new; farmers for years have used systems to extend their WiFi systems beyond the office and onto the farm. But Gerrish brings an enthusiasm and a vision to the issue that is kind of inspiring.

USDA Establishes New Partnerships to Link Underserved Farmers to FSA Programs

The U.S. Department Agriculture announced cooperative agreements with 55 partners to educate farmers and other producers that have historically been underserved by USDA programs offered through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Nearly $2.5 million will go to nonprofits, associations, universities, and foundations that will provide training and information on FSA programs that provide financial, disaster or technical support. 

TTIP and Agriculture: Another Transatlantic Chicken War?

In 1963 the United States and Europe (EU) were engaged in the infamous Chicken War over new tariffs introduced in Europe. Five decades later, tensions over chicken, now relating to food safety issues, still plague U.S.-EU trade relations in agriculture, and are playing an unfortunate role in influencing European public opinion in the debate about a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Litigation filed by farmers against Pilgrim’s dismissed

A federal judge in Texas has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Pilgrim's nearly ten years ago by poultry growers who accused the company of violating federal law by manipulating poultry prices with intentions of shutting down some of the growers’ operations.

Debate on farmers’ high property taxes raises fear of tax revolt

“Ohio has some of the highest farmland taxes in the nation,” Finnarn told the group. “It didn’t use to be this way.”

The issue has the potential of pitting farmers against local governments and school districts, which have been enjoying increased property tax revenuws. And lawmakers are moving cautiously, fearful that the effort to reduce the CAUV could backfire.

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