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Move Over, El Niño, La Niña To Affect Fall Weather

AccuWeather recently released its fall 2016 forecast. The weather forecasting service reports warm weather is predicted across much of the eastern U.S., as the weather pattern transitions to La Niña this fall. Meanwhile, developing dryness and worsening drought conditions will grip the majority of the western U.S. The Northwest may mark the only exception where cooler air will rule as a result of frequent showers.

Hampton Creek Ran Undercover Project to Buy Up Its Own Vegan Mayo

In late 2014, fledgling entrepreneur Josh Tetrick persuaded investors to plow $90 million into his vegan food startup Hampton Creek Inc. Tetrick had impressed leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms by getting his eggless Just Mayo product into Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, and other top U.S. supermarkets within about three years of starting his company.  What Tetrick and his team neglected to mention is that the startup undertook a large-scale operation to buy back its own mayo, which made the product appear more popular than it really was.

Massachusetts - State helicopters will drop cover crop seeds

A helicopter will start making flights across the state this month, hovering over farms to drop seed in the hopes of producing a "cover crop" to protect soil through winter.  The chopper is from the state Department of Agriculture and is depositing the winter ryegrass seed onto cornfields so that when the main crop is harvested, the cover crop will already be established in the dirt. "It gives the seed a start that it wouldn't probably have," said Jim Lattanzi, owner of Hollis Hill farm in Fitchburg.

Report: Immigration boosts S.D. economy

Immigrants in South Dakota bolster the tax base and the workforce, a new report says, and more welcoming laws could help foreign-born workers respond to the state’s labor shortage.  The report on South Dakota is one of 51 on the economic benefits of immigration from the Partnership for a New American Economy.

Pushing Immigration Reform

Business and agricultural groups that have struggled in recent years to get congressional action on immigration reform are counting on 2017 being different once the embers of the 2016 presidential election begin to cool.  Presidents from the American Farm Bureau Federation and Western Growers helped launch the "Reason for Reform" campaign on Wednesday with new reports showcasing the role of immigrants, documented or otherwise, across the country in areas ranging from agriculture and construction to startup businesses.

Florida State Preserves Nearly 4,000 Acres of Economically, Environmentally Sensitive Working Land

The Governor and Cabinet today unanimously approved the preservation of nearly 4,000 acres of sensitive agricultural lands in Hardee, DeSoto, Dixie and Indian River counties, while allowing the land and agriculture operations to continue to contribute to Florida's economy. The purchases are a part of the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program, which partners with Florida's farmers and ranchers to preserve active agricultural operations and their immense economic and environmental benefits through cost-effective conservation easements.

Governor McAuliffe Announces New Funding for Agriculture, Forestry Export Promotion Efforts

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Virginia will invest $850,000 over the biennial budget to expand its international trade initiatives promoting Virginia’s agriculture and forestry products around the world.  With these new funds, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will open two new trade representative offices in Southeast Asia and the Middle East/Northern Africa (MENA) region, as well as create a new Richmond-based position to support the newly enhanced global trade network.  The investment also will promote VDACS-led reverse trade missions to

Activists say: Broiler houses would threaten endangered species

Activist groups in Arkansas have filed a notice of intent to sue three federal agencies, claiming they failed to identify the impact of a proposed poultry operation on seven animal and plant species. The Arkansas Rights Koalition and the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S.

Idaho organic dairies growing rapidly

Ben Pulsipher was managing a 2,000-cow conventional dairy in Raft River when he decided it was time to start his own operation.  With conventional dairies struggling to cope with low milk prices, Pulsipher reasoned the organic price premium would make it economical for him to start with a small herd and gradually grow.  A few months since entering the organic industry, Pulsipher said his contract still justifies the extra hassle, but he’s begun to worry too many other Idaho producers have reached the same conclusion and may be gradually flooding the niche market.  He and his partner, Evan I

Wisconsin scales back manure rules after industry complaints

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has scaled back proposed rules regulating factory farms’ manure spreading amid complaints from the dairy industry.  The DNR last month completed scope statements to update manure spreading regulations for factory farms statewide, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Monday. Scope statements are broad summaries of agency proposals for regulations.

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