USDA is investing up to $25 million per year over the next five years to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new, additional sub-program created by the 2018 farm bill for the USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants program. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 farm bill.
Alton, Ill., a tourist town on the edge of the Mississippi River, has been fighting floods about every eight months for the last six years. This week’s crest, which ranked No. 7 among the city’s 10 worst floods, forced the closure of the city’s riverboat casino, left its riverfront park underwater and closed portions of its downtown. Mayor Brant Walker said the 100-year floods that communities like his are seeing every two years underscore the need for an approach that tackles the problem across the entire river system.
A jury handed an unparalleled $2.055 billion verdict in favor of a couple in California who say their cancer was caused by long-term exposure to Monsanto's popular weed killer Roundup, according to the plaintiffs' attorneys.The verdict in Oakland includes more than $55 million in compensatory damages to the couple and $2 billion in punitive damages, a statement said.The verdict "is as clear of a statement as you can get that they need to change what they're doing," one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, Brent Wisner, told reporters Monday.
According to a report recently released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents for every dollar American consumers spend on food. This value marks a 17% drop since 2011 and marks the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting this data in 1993. The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing.
A proposal to protect eroding farmland in southwest Washington by taking gravel from the Lower Satsop River in Grays Harbor County was vetoed May 8 by Gov. Jay Inslee. In a veto message, Inslee said the sediment-removal project did not belong in a bill intended to supply orcas with more salmon.
In a year where state officials are paying increased attention to a depressed farm economy, the Pennsylvania Senate gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a set of bills they hope can help.
Sanford Bishop and Sonny Perdue go way back. So far back that Bishop, now a 14-term, Democratic congressman from south Georgia, remembers when Perdue, now the Secretary of Agriculture under President Donald J. Trump, was a Democrat.Their friendship was tested April 9 when Perdue appeared before the House Appropriations ag subcommittee to defend the president’s 2020 budget request for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This Week's AgClips
Critics and proponents agree that recently passed legislation intended to shield Oregon from federal “rollbacks” of environmental regulations is meant to send a message. While supporters claim House Bill 2250 signifies the state government’s stand against weakening protections for air, soil and water at the federal level, opponents argue it amounts to an expensive but empty political stunt.The bill was approved by the Senate 16-12 on May 14 after passing the House two months earlier. It’s all but assured of being signed into law by Gov.
President Trump is worsening an economic disaster by ratcheting up a trade war with China. On Friday the US announced new tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, to which China retaliated on Monday by hiking tariffs on soy, pork and poultry. Soybean futures markets plunged again, after having set a 10-year low late last week. Soy prices on May 10 were about $2.50 per bushel below where they were when Trump won in November 2016. China is our biggest soy customer. Trump slapped on new tariffs when negotiations on a new trade deal fell apart. It takes patience to trade.
Robots with fingers designed to pick mature tomatoes, among the most delicate of crops. A Fitbit-like collar that monitors the wellbeing of a cow. Drones with sensors to identify dry areas of a field or discover crop production inefficiencies.
More than $660,000 has been earmarked for land conservation agreements with Saskatchewan beef producers.The Saskatchewan Stock Growers and the South of the Divide Conservation Action Program have received funding support from Ottawa and the U.S.
David Oppedahl, a Senior Business Economist at the Chicago Fed, explained in The AgLetter that, “District agricultural land values were the same in the first quarter of 2019 as in the first quarter of 2018, although they did move up 1 percent from the fourth quarter of 2018. Indiana and Iowa saw year-over-year decreases in farmland values, while Illinois and Wisconsin saw no changes.”
Cherri Foytlin and her fellow protestors spent much of last summer suspended 35-feet in the air in “sky pods” tied to cypress trees. They were hoping to block the Bayou Bridge Pipeline from running through their part of Louisiana. At the time, Energy Transfer Partners was building the pipeline to move oil between Texas and St. James Parish in southern Louisiana, crisscrossing through the Atchafalaya Basin, one of the largest swamps in the country.
Property owners would win the right to challenge land seizures for renewable energy projects in court with the Legislature’s unanimous passage Monday of state Sen. Tom Brewer’s 2019 priority bill. Lawmakers also would assert their authority to protect the Sandhills and other environmentally sensitive areas under Legislative Bill 155, which won 44-0 final approval.The measure, which now goes to Gov.
Minnesota nonprofits are turning to community solar as a tool to fight poverty. Community solar typically involves households or businesses buying subscriptions to projects owned by a third-party developer. The power generated is credited to subscribers’ utility bills and generally reduces monthly payments.But the model comes with barriers such as credit score checks that can put it out of reach for some of those who have the most to potentially gain. Several Minnesota charities are experimenting with ways to spread the benefits.
Gov. Ron DeSantis flexed his veto power for the first time Friday night, declining to sign an environmental bill that would have prohibited local governments from banning plastic straws for the next five years.
As emergencies rise across rural America, a hospital fights for its life. The hospital had already transferred out most of its patients and lost half its staff when the CEO called a meeting to take inventory of what was left.
Many West Virginians like Ms. Frame signed up for Mined Minds, quitting their jobs or dropping out of school for the prized prospect of a stable and lucrative career. But the revival never came. Almost none of those who signed up for Mined Minds are working in programming now.
Most states are keeping a close eye on opioid overdose deaths, but they may need to start focusing on cocaine and other stimulants as well. It turns out that the same lethal drug that has been driving the nation’s spiraling opioid epidemic is also causing an historic surge in overdose deaths among cocaine users.That’s according to a new analysis of death certificate data from the U.S.
Under gray skies on a fall morning, Rick Clubb wears an expression of disbelief as he walks across 10 acres of strafe-bombed pasture and stares down at ground turned upside down overnight. Wild pigs have unleashed hell. Again. The field is flipped and cratered, green gone brown in multiple stretches, testament to the wrecking ball capacity of a phenomenally opportunistic survivor. Head in hands, Clubb rubs his temples as the proverbial dollars drain from his pockets, keenly aware of the stark reality on his southeast Missouri farm: The wild pigs always return.
Frustrated Michigan farmers blasted the Trump administration's trade policies Monday, hours after China announced new tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. imports. "The noose is getting tighter," said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association."We have lost market opportunities. We're not shipping soybeans around the world like we normally would. We're not shipping them to China.
For any food waste recovery business, whether for profit or non-profit, the biggest expense is logistics. Jasmine Crowe, founder of Atlanta-based startup Goodrknew that from the start.Roadie’s model focuses on targeting drivers who are already near a pickup and likely heading in the right direction for the delivery. And Truxx is focused on larger vehicles for larger loads.
Impossible Foods, which makes a meatless plant-based burger and is backed by celebrities like Serena Williams and Katy Perry, said on Monday it has raised $300 million in the latest round of funding ahead of a possible initial public offering.
Coral experts around the world said it was impossible to extract a multi-century record of El Niño events. But now a persistent effort has produced the world's first 400-year long record of El Niño events. And the changes researchers have found to El Niños in recent decades are startling.
The nation’s third-largest coal company by production volume filed for bankruptcy Friday as utility companies increasingly turn to gas-fired generation and renewable energy for electricity. Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The move was widely expected since at least March, when the company received the first of several extensions to make a $1.8 million loan payment. The latest extension expired Friday.
States are preparing to fight back as the Trump administration moves to erase Obama-era standards for lightbulbs.
Faced with high fees, slow speeds and poor customer service, many communities in the U.S. have turned to community broadband projects to free themselves from the clutches of major telecom providers. But this isn’t an option for everyone, as 26 states either severely restrict or outright ban community broadband initiatives. Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.
The rural broadband fund that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed last week would rely on funding from an existing broadband program slated to expire next year, while also setting higher standards for internet speeds, according to the FCC. Around $2 billion has been available annually in recent years through the Connect America Fund and that same amount would be shifted to the new fund, dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, said Mark Wigfield.
The numbers paint a rough picture: USDA forecasts net farm income level for 2019 to be only 77 percent of the annual average for 2000 through 2017. It’s down 50 percent from 2013 alone. Inflation-adjusted farm debt is the highest it has been since 1980 and the debt-to-asset ratio for farmers is rising steadily.
Law enforcement will be unable to permanently take ownership of cash and other property seized in drug cases unless certain conditions are met under legislation signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Oregon is the first state in the country to allow dentists to administer vaccines to patients. In a year marked with heated debate about the state’s involvement in boosting vaccination rates, the bill was quietly passed and signed into law with little fanfare. But it sets a new precedent for the role dentistry plays in the health care system.Two other states have laws that allow dentists to give flu shots to adults, but in Oregon, dentists will soon be able to give out any vaccine available at a primary care doctor’s office.
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday (May 10) that US President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help American farmers cope with the heavy impact on agriculture of the trade war with China. A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the US Department of Agriculture’s US$12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.
Wisconsin agriculture officials say they've killed all the deer on a Portage County deer farm after a buck from the facility tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced Friday that all 30 deer on the Grand View Whitetails LLC breeding farm were killed May 1. Six of them tested positive for CWD.Authorities announced in November that a 3-year-old buck from the breeding farm that was killed on the Deep Woods Hunt Ranch in Portage County had CWD. The discovery led to quarantines on both the farm and the ranch.
A new plan to help rural Canada thrive will focus on expanding internet and cellphone coverage, even funding communities that want to be their own service providers, the minister in charge of it says.
Researchers have discovered an ancient forest of bald cypress trees along a North Carolina river, documenting some trees older than than 2,000 years old.One of the bald cypress trees along the Black River was documented to be at least 2,624 years old.
Carroll says project will involve unspecified millions in capital investment, and thousands of people involved, including participation from federal, state, local and private contributions.
Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber. The unit, which includes Silk and So Delicious, currently generates less than $1 billion in sales, compared with the $2 billion in dairy. But the category is growing faster as consumers race to adopt vegan alternatives to everything from yogurt to hamburgers. Danone’s U.S. plant-based business could become as big as its traditional yogurt business there in 10 years, according to Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Faber.