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SARL AgClips


Agclips for the week ending November 17, 2018

This Week's AgClips

Medical marijuana backers threaten to sue over LDS Church involvement in compromise bill to replace Prop 2

Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on November 17, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Medical marijuana advocates say they are exploring legal action challenging the Legislature’s move to replace Proposition 2 “at the behest” of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Although Utah voters this month approved the medical cannabis initiative by about 52 percent-48 percent, lawmakers are expected to meet in a December special session to overwrite the measure with a marijuana proposal acceptable to Prop 2 opponents, including the church.

California’s apocalyptic fires are a side effect of modern life

High Country News | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Rural News

The ‘new normal’ of a year-round wildfire season is a problem of our own making.Violent wildfires like the ones we’re witnessing today are of our own making. They’re the accidental yet catastrophic side effects of the way we live our lives; witness Redding, California, where the rim of a flat tire scraped the asphalt on a highway, causing the sparks that started the Carr Fire. They’re the result of people moving into fire-prone areas, along with forestry practices that suppress natural fires and human-caused global warming. Speaking to the media, Gov.

Reckoning with History: How the once-radical Endangered Species Act was weakened

High Country News | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Rural News

In his classic book, A Sand County Almanac, conservationist Aldo Leopold wrote of ecological communities, “A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these ‘resources,’ but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state.” Congress essentially agreed with Leopold when it passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, with only 12 dissenting votes in the House and none in the Senate.Today, private landowners and industry in the West are calling for Congress and the president’s

Earwax reveals how humans have changed whales’ lives

National Geographic | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Rural News

Luckily, museum curators around the world have had the good sense to hold onto massive plugs of earwax pulled from dead whales over the centuries.Thanks to those plugs, scientists have now discovered a record, hidden in earwax, of how human activities have stressed out whales over the past century and a half. Stephen Trumble, a comparative physiologist at Baylor University, and his colleagues published the findings this month in Nature Communications.It turns out we’re incredibly stress-inducing—from whaling to war to climate change, our actions have been affecting

Green Plains shuts plant, faces ethanol downturn

Reuters | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Energy News

Green Plains Inc, the nation’s fourth-largest ethanol producer, has permanently shuttered a Virginia production plant and cut output at several other facilities as it tries to navigate a supply glut that has pummeled biofuel profits. Green Plains announced that it was closing a plant in the town of Hopewell that had capacity to produce 60 million gallons annually. Thirty-one jobs will be cut, it said in a news release.

U.S. House passes bill to drop legal protections for gray wolves

Capital Press | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Federal, Rural News

The Republican-controlled House passed a bill to drop legal protections for gray wolves across the lower 48 states, reopening a lengthy battle over the predator species. Long despised by farmers and ranchers, wolves were shot, trapped and poisoned out of existence in most of the U.S. by the mid-20th century.

Schwan’s Sold to South Korean Company

KSAL | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Food News

Schwan’s Company, a leading U.S. food business, announced Thursday it has reached an agreement to sell a majority stake of the company to CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ), of Seoul, South Korea.Schwan’s Company began in 1952 as a one-man-and-a-truck home-delivery business operating in rural Minnesota. Today, Schwan’s is a leading U.S. food manufacturer and marketer with approximately 12,000 employees and trusted brands like Schwan’s® fine foods, Red Baron®, Freschetta® and Tony’s® pizza, Edwards® and Mrs.

Cost of Thanksgiving Day dinner drops by 75 cents

Bismarck Tribune | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Food News

American Farm Bureau Federation’s 32nd annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.87.

Turning human excrement into biofuel

| Posted on November 17, 2018 in Energy News

team of researchers from Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) has demonstrated, for the first time, a technique for converting human excrement into hydrochar—a safe, renewable biomass fuel that resembles charcoal—as well as a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Ag Bankers Wary About 2019

DTN | Posted on November 17, 2018 in News

Cash flow is a growing problem in farm country, and nearly all of the bankers that spoke with DTN at a recent conference said there's some part of their portfolio that's under significant financial stress.

Sucking your baby's pacifier to clean it may prevent allergies

Science Daily | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Food News

New research suggests a link between parental sucking on a pacifier and a lower allergic response among young children.

Killer whales share personality traits with humans, chimpanzees

Science Daily | Posted on November 17, 2018 in Rural News

Killer whales display personality traits similar to those of humans and chimpanzees, such as playfulness, cheerfulness and affection, according to new research.

Chapter 12 bankruptcies on the rise in the Ninth District

Minneapolis Federal Reserve | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

The trend is both simple and complex. For example, current numbers are not unprecedented, even in the recent past, having reached 70 bankruptcies in 2010. However, current price levels and the trajectory of the current trends suggest that this trend has not yet seen a peak. Not surprisingly, bankruptcy numbers inversely follow the rise and fall of commodity prices. After a comparatively steep spike in chapter 12 filings during the Great Recession—that 2010 peak—ag prices started rising across the board, and bankruptcies logically pivoted and started to decline.

Eating less meat won't move climate change needle

Feedstuffs | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

For example, The Guardian’s headline read like this: Huge reduction in meat-eating ‘essential’ to avoid climate breakdown. Their article goes on to explain that, “U.K. and U.S.

Animal activists face felony charges after chicken theft

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Members of DxE Bay Area chapter, whose mission is “total animal liberation,” conducted a protest Sept. 29 at McCoy’s Poultry Services in Sonoma County. They claim they believed they were following laws when trying to help chickens they said were in distress. Sonoma County animal officials took custody of 15 chickens, including six that were dead, that had been taken by the protesters, according to the report.Sonoma County Sheriff’s Capt.

US appeals court rules against Trump on DACA immigration program

CNBC | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Federal News

A U.S. appeals court in California ruled that President Donald Trump's administration must continue DACA, a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants.The ruling represented another legal defeat for Trump over DACA.DACA offers protections to roughly 700,000 young adults, mostly Hispanics, who entered the country as children.

Rural America is Growing, But Only Near Big Cities And Scenic Areas

Harvest Public Media | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Rural News

For the first time in seven years, rural America’s population is growing. The annual U.S. Department of Agriculture report “Rural America at a Glance” found the increase — only 0.08 percent — mainly in scenic rural areas like the Rocky Mountains, more densely populated rural areas and rural communities that are within about an hour’s drive of a major city. Essentially, places where people still have access to urban amenities or can go hiking, biking, fishing or skiing.Rural Midwestern counties continue to lose people, and are getting older.

Gene-edited food is coming, but will shoppers buy?

WTOL | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Food News

The next generation of biotech food is headed for the grocery aisles, and first up may be salad dressings or granola bars made with soybean oil genetically tweaked to be good for your heart.By early next year, the first foods from plants or animals that had their DNA "edited" are expected to begin selling. It's a different technology than today's controversial "genetically modified" foods, more like faster breeding that promises to boost nutrition, spur crop growth, and make farm animals hardier and fruits and vegetables last longer.The U.S.

Lawsuit against USDA takes aim at animal welfare label claims

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Federal News

The Animal Welfare Institute has sued USDA for failing to mandate third-party audits of food label claims such as “humane” and “sustainable.” The animal activist group, in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accuses USDA of an unreasonable delay in responding to the organization’s 2014 petition for rulemaking. The petition asked the agency to require independent certification of animal raising claims including “animal compassionate” and “raised with care.”

FDA Says Leafy Green Industry Must Improve Safety

Growing Produce | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Food News

In his wrap up letter following the 2018  Yuma-AZ-linked Shiga-toxin producing E. coli(STEC) outbreak, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. is calling for improved safety measures for growing leafy greens. “We recognize and appreciate the efforts that the leafy greens industry has taken to date.

Trump Trade War Fallout Could Haunt U.S. Soy Farmers for Years

BLoomberg | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

If history is any guide, the trade war with China will have lasting affects for U.S. farmers and their soybean crops that the president won’t be boasting about. Donald Trump is set to meet Xi Jinping, his counterpart in China, at the G-20 summit and traders are optimistic for a resolution. But a flashback to Richard Nixon’s 1973 soybean embargo and Jimmy Carter’s 1980 Soviet grain ban suggest that what’s already happened this year may lead to permanent changes ahead as China seeks alternatives to the U.S. market."It’s possible that China will never fully trust the U.S.

Brucellosis reported in Wyoming

Jackson Hole News and Guide | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

 rare disease has popped up in a Teton County cattle herd. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory found five cows infected with brucellosis, a bacterial disease that can pass from wild animals to cattle, according to a press release from the Wyoming Livestock Board. The disease causes cattle, elk and bison to abort their pregnancies. All reported cases in Wyoming since 1988 were caused by transmission from wildlife to livestock.


These wild monkeys thrive in Florida—and carry a deadly virus

National Geographic | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Rural News

n the heart of central Florida lies Silver Spring State Park—a large patchwork of forests and wetlands with a spring-fed river flowing through it. One of Florida’s first tourist attractions, the park was once known for its scenic vistas and native wildlife. But for the last 80 years, the park’s biggest draw has been its monkeys.That’s right—Silver Spring State Park is home to at least 300 rhesus macaques, a monkey native to south and southeast Asia.

Farmers Seek Additional Markets for Soy, While Fears Grow for Lasting Trade Impacts

Farm Policy News | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

U.S. farmers would need about 11,000 markets the size of Sri Lanka to replace Chinese soybean purchases, but these days many growers will take any shred of new business they can get. A small but growing number of farmers have all but given up waiting for diplomatic solutions and started scrambling themselves to help open new markets and salvage existing ones disrupted by tariffs, according to dozens of interviews with producers, industry officials and trade lobbying groups.“Outside of China, foreign soybean importers have capitalized on bargain-priced U.S. supplies.

China reports first case of African swine fever in animal feed

South China Morning Post | Posted on November 15, 2018 in News

Discovery follows first outbreak in six weeks at a pig farm in southeastern province of Anhui, Fears raised the disease will spread further across the country

ADM looks to buy Argentina soy crusher Molinos Agro

Watt AgNet | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Agriculture News

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) has approached Argentina-based soy crusher Molinos Agro about buying its livestock feed and soy oil manufacturing plant, according to a Reuters report. A spokesman for the Perez Companc business group, which controls Molinos Agro, said the company has been approached several times by potential buyers and the offers were rejected. But Reuters reported that discussions between ADM and Molinos Agro began last year and then stalled over the price.Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have given U.S.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill's dramatic effect on stingrays' sensory abilities

Science Daily | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Energy News

Marine fishes rely on their sensory systems to survive. A study is the first to quantify the physiological effects of whole crude oil on the olfactory function of a marine vertebrate -- the Atlantic stingray. Results of the study, confirm that exposure to crude oil, at concentrations mimicking those measured in coastal areas following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, significantly impaired olfactory function in the Atlantic stingray after just 48 hours of exposure.

Scientists: Wind, drought worsen fires, not bad management

AP News | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Rural News

Both nature and humans share blame for California’s devastating wildfires, but forest management did not play a major role, despite President Donald Trump’s claims, fire scientists say.

Massachusetts raw milk dairy suspends production for antibiotic traces

Food Safety News | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Food News

Nick Hoffman and family practice Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at Hoffman Farm in Franklin, MA, offer fresh vegetables, eggs and raw milk to shareholders who pay $615 every week.But earlier this month, Hoffman Farm ran into a snag in its bucolic business plan. Raw milk sold by Hoffman tested positive for traces of antibiotics.The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) does not tolerate any amount of antibiotics in milk, not even a smidgen.

Paulding County farmers, wind industry association sue state over restrictive wind setback law

Paulding Progress | Posted on November 15, 2018 in Energy News

A group of farmers in Paulding County has filed suit against the state of Ohio, alleging that the Ohio General Assembly violated the state constitution when it passed a dramatic increase in wind setback mandates. In a case joined by the wind industry, the farmers assert that the legislature passed the amendment in House Bill 483 in 2014 in a totally unrelated piece of legislation, which is in violation of the "single subject" rule. The legislature adopted the surprise mandate just before the bill's passage, without any opportunity for input from affected landowners.

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