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Round 2 in Hawkes v. Corps of Engineers Goes to Landowners

The litigation continues for the parties involved in Hawkes v. US Army Corps of Engineers.  This Clean Water Act case made its way to the United States Supreme Court last year, where the Court held that a landowner has the right to challenge an approved jurisdictional determination by the government that his or her property was a “water of the United States,” and therefore, subject to the Clean Water Act.

A Bee Mogul Confronts the Crisis in His Field

Mr. Adee (pronounced Ay-Dee) is America’s largest beekeeper, and this is his busy season. Some 92,000 hives had to be deployed before those buds burst into blossom so that his bees could get to the crucial work of pollination.  But it is notable that he has a business at all. For the last decade, a mysterious plague has killed billions of bees every year. Pollination services, as the bees’ work is known in the industry, has risen this year to between $180 to $200 a hive from an average of $154 a hive in 2006, Mr. Curtis said.

2017 net farm income projected to drop by half compared to 2013

On February 7, 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its forecast of 2017 farm income and expenses (http://tinyurl.com/gs2typz). Net farm income for the current year is forecast to be $62.3 billion or $5.9 billion less than 2016. Notwithstanding poor weather or an unexpected surge in demand, this would be the fourth year in a row that farmers experience a decline in net farm income. If farm income comes in as expected, it would be half (50.4 percent) of the $123.7 billion that farmers received in 2013.

HSUS agrees with Animal Agriculture Alliance’s advice

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) aren’t often on the same side of the paddock. (Shocking, right?) So I was especially struck while reading the Alliance’s list of its top five ways to fight back against animal rights activists.

Got Almond Milk? Dairy Farms Protest Milk Label on Nondairy Drinks

If milk comes from a plant, can you still call it milk?  Not according to the dairy industry. Facing growing competition from dairy alternatives like almond, soy and coconut milk, the nation’s dairy farmers are fighting back, with an assist from Congress. Their goal: to stop companies from calling their plant-based products yogurt, milk or cheese. Dairy farmers say the practice misleads consumers into thinking that nondairy milk is nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.

Governor Mark Dayton Signs Bipartisan $35 Million Rural Finance Authority Bill

Delivering needed assistance to Minnesota’s 74,000 farmers, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bipartisan $35 million Rural Finance Authority legislation (H.F. 14) into law. The new funding will allow the Authority to continue offering eligible Minnesota farmers affordable financing and terms and conditions not offered by other traditional lenders. Without the investment, many Minnesota farmers would face a credit crunch caused by several years of low commodity prices and rising expenses.

Webinar on Supporting Entrepreneurial Economies

Rural America was front and center in the 2016 national election. Media headlines focused attention on our nation’s acute rural challenges – the decline of critical sectors like mining and manufacturing, technology-driven worker dislocation in those industries and agriculture, inadequate job opportunities for dislocated workers, infrastructure challenges, community health crises, and more. But a deeper understanding of rural America reveals a companion picture – one where innovation and collaborative local leadership are turning challenges into opportunities.

Rural Mainstreet Begins Year Weak: One-Third Indicate Loan Defaults Biggest Banking Threat

For a 17th straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index remained below growth neutral. • Almost one-third of bank CEOs indicated that soaring loan defaults represented the greatest Rural Mainstreet banking threat for 2017. • Almost nine often bankersreported thatlow agriculture commodity represented the biggest threat to the rural economic for 2017. • Eighty percent of bankers expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in the first half of 2017.

Video counters HSUS stance on antibiotic use

HumaneWatch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, released a video rebutting Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle’s assertions on antibiotic use in animal agriculture. The video addresses Pacelle’s claim that overuse of antibiotics on farms is a public health menace, pointing to recent findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show nearly one-third of antibiotics prescribed to humans are unnecessary.

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