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U.S. trade, immigration and biofuel policies hit farmers hard

Even before the specter of a trade war with China and other countries threatened to cost them billions of dollars, American farmers were feeling the squeeze from fluctuating crop prices and other factors that have halved their overall income in recent years. The threat of counter-tariffs on U.S. farm goods and the impact of President Donald Trump's other policies on immigration and biofuels, though, have some farmers more worried than ever about their ability to continue eking out an existence in agriculture.

KS, MO Farmers Dealing with Drought

In a growing season where some regions of the Western Corn Belt have seen too much moisture, other areas have seen very little of it. From east-central Kansas into north-central Missouri, scant amounts of precipitation have led to crops withering in the field, leaving livestock with little to eat or drink. Some areas are worse than others, but farmers in Kansas and Missouri said the drought area will grow in size the longer it doesn't rain. Moisture may still help soybeans, but it's too late for most of the corn.

California awards $69.9 million for dairy digester projects

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $69.9 million in grant funding to 40 dairy digester projects across the state. These projects, part of the Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from manure on California dairy farms. Financial assistance for the installation of dairy digesters comes from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses Cap-and-Trade program funds to support the state’s climate goals.

Wisconsin dairy farms no longer burning, burying plastics, thanks to recycling company

Wisconsin farms use and dispose of hundreds to thousands of pounds of plastic items each year, but only a small portion of it is accepted by many recycling centers.  That is why Revolution Plastics has stepped up to accept agriculture plastics like silage bags, bale wraps and oxygen barriers that other recycling centers are unable to.   "Ag plastics used on Wisconsin dairy farms come covered in silage, mud and sometimes manure."  said Price Murphy, director of operations for Revolution Plastics. "Feed, in particular, leaves distinct aroma on the plastics that is hard to get out.

Key step forward for game-changing grass

In New Zealand, an important milestone has been reached in AgResearch’s development of a new-generation grass that could prove to be a game changer for agriculture. With funding from the government of New Zealand and industry partners, including DairyNZ, the genetically modified, high-metabolizable energy (HME) ryegrass has been shown in AgResearch’s laboratories to grow up to 50% faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought and to produce as much as 23% less methane from livestock

Arms Race Gets Unleashed Over Crop Data

It’s the sort of edge any trader would covet -- and one the authorities were actually hoping to prevent. Yet the U.S. Department of Agriculture may well be clearing the way for some Wall Street speed demons to trade on market-moving data before others. Abandoning decades of precedent, the agency has decided to only post its reports directly on the web, rather than also release them via accredited media. While that may seem like a democratic move, it actually could set the stage for a winner-takes-all arms race to grab the info first.

Struggling dairies get creative, hoping to stay afloat

To rescue her father’s ailing Wicomico County dairy farm, 31-year-old Rebecca Harcum had emptied her savings, maxed out her credit cards and taken a loan against her 401(k). She’d poured nearly $100,000 into the effort, and her father, William Blan Harcum Jr., had also exhausted his savings and credit.

Missouri research still showa dicamba volatility

University of Missouri researchers continue to find volatility of the newer dicamba products. M-U researchers are in their second year of studying soybean plants, placed 12 inches above the crop canopy, in fields that have been sprayed with dicamba during temperature inversions. Preliminary results show damages to the plants are highest in the first 24 hours they are placed in the sprayed fields but damages can occur up to 96 hours afterward. The plants have no direct contact with dicamba. At the Pest Management field day at Bradford farms near Columbia, Missouri, MU weed scientist Dr.

Genome Editing in Agriculture: Methods, Applications, and Governance

The paper also presents an overview of the current landscape of governance of genome editing, including existing regulations, international agreements, and standards and codes of conduct, as well as a discussion of factors that affect governance, including comparison with other approaches to genetic modification, environmental and animal welfare impacts of specific applications, values of producers and consumers, and economic impacts, among others.  Recognizing both that genome editing for crop and livestock improvement has the potential to substantially contribute to human welfare and sust

Federal funding powers development of waste-to-energy technology for poultry farmers

A Baltimore startup that spun out of research at Morgan State University is looking to turn poultry litter into power for farmers. Cykloburn Technologies is developing a low-emission combustion system that converts biomass into energy. CEO Rob Meissner said the technology is being designed as an option for poultry farmers who use chicken litter as fertilizer. On the Eastern Shore, nitrogen and phosphorous from excess fertilizer is pegged as a prime pollutant in the Chesapeake Bay.


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