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  • A week after Hurricane Michael, rural residents feel stranded | Washington Post

    Chance, was in her Toyota Tundra following the arrows when she thought, “Thank God for the community.” “You think the government would have come out to help us country folk,” she said. “But we are still struggling.”In the week after the catastrophic Hurricane Michael, residents have watched supply trucks and federal emergency officials come through the rural town of Alford, population 400. But most of them did not stop here, where the power is still out, few have clean water and people have been sleeping outside.There are small towns facing similar fates along Michael’s destructive trail. Neighbors and churches are providing food, shelter and supplies, trying to tide them over, hoping that more government help will come.“We are starting to see some federal help, but it’s mostly church groups and more church groups that are helping,” said Mayor George Gay.  Alford is in south-central Jackson County, a sprawling rural area more than three-quarters the size of Rhode Island. The county was now nearly 1,000 square miles of blown-over cotton fields and peanut farms, where random scraps of metal littered roads and forests were filled with rows of trees dismembered from their roots.On those rural roads, power lines slumped down like the bottom of jump ropes. Some houses were reduced to rubble and bricks. Gay estimated three-quarters of homes in Alford were “completely destroyed.” Others were blanketed by blue tarps. 70 percent of the rural roads and dirt roads were still obstructed by trees. It had been eight days. And residents found themselves fearing the worst.Just down the street from Chance, a man died after getting stuck under a fallen tree. It took police days to find the man, whom Chance simply knew as “Old School.” She wondered how many more lay beneath the debris. Chance followed the arrows to the Alford Community Center, where she was told residents could receive three hot meals a day from a religious group that travels from disaster to disaster to provide support. It was a stroke of luck that the group, International Gospel Outreach First Responders, was in Alford at all, volunteers said.They were heading to Marianna, a larger city 15 miles away where FEMA officials are assisting residents with disaster relief claims, when local leaders told them that a smaller town was desperate for help. If the group hadn’t come with hamburgers and spaghetti, residents here wondered whether they would have eventually gone hungry.




    Post date: Fri, 10/19/2018 - 15:56
  • USDA suspends pork imports from Poland over African swine fever concerns | Agri-Pulse

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has suspended pork imports from Poland over concerns about export protocols in the country as it deals with an outbreak of African swine fever. According to APHIS, a routine review of ongoing operations revealed one Polish facility exporting pork to the U.S. “has done so in contravention of the stringent requirements in place to prevent the spread of serious diseases of livestock, like ASF.”A second facility is also under review, and APHIS plans to exclude all product from the country until it is complete “to give us time to ensure all Polish facilities that export pork and pork products to the U.S. are acting in accordance with our import requirements.”

    Post date: Fri, 10/19/2018 - 15:51
  • Grains slide 2 % as exports disappoint |

    U.S. soybean futures fell more than 2 percent on Thursday, with the benchmark November contract on track for its largest single-day decline since August, on disappointing weekly export sales and improving U.S. harvest weather, analysts said. Corn and wheat followed the weak tone. November soybeans futures were down 20-1/2 cents at $8.65-1/4 per bushel. CBOT December corn was down 3-3/4 cents at $3.70-1/2 a bushel and December wheat was down 4-3/4 cents at $5.12-3/4 a bushel. Soybeans tumbled after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported export sales of U.S. soybeans in the latest week at 295,600 tonnes, below a range of trade expectations. The figure included cancellations of 694,400 tonnes of soybeans sold to unknown destinations. "Today's market is clearly a statement that we have transitioned out of a supply (focus) and into a demand-focused, demand-driven market. This dismal sales number here today sets the tone," said Rich Feltes, vice president for research with R.J. O'Brien. U.S. soybeans are the cheapest in the world, but China, by far the world's biggest soy buyer, is locked in a trade battle with Washington.

    Post date: Thu, 10/18/2018 - 15:43
  • Trump Gives Farmers a Jolt of Fuel | Wall Street Journal

    President Trump’s decision last week to allow the year-round sale of E15 is a promise made and kept to farmers throughout rural America. E15 is shorthand for gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, instead of the more common E10, and was prohibited for sale in the summer by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2011.Biofuels are a part of everyday life in Iowa, the top corn-and ethanol-producing state in the U.S. Ethanol supports more than 43,000 Iowa-based jobs and 350,000 jobs throughout the country, directly and indirectly. Ethanol contributed $44.4 billion to gross domestic product and $5 billion in federal tax revenue in 2017.Year-round E15 sales will bring increased stability to the market and create new growth opportunities. Today only about 1,400 out of 122,000 filling stations in the U.S. sell E15. That’s a result of the Obamaera regulation, not a lack of consumer demand. With filling stations prohibited from selling higher-ethanol blends for nearly a third of the year, it often didn’t make economic sense to install the infrastructure necessary to sell the product at all. That will change after the implementation of year-round E15.The change couldn’t come at a better time. Farm income is down 47% over the past five years. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement will help, but there’s still unrest in America’s heartland about trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. The administration’s E15 action will deliver a timelyinfusion of optimism to farmers. It will also put an end to an unnecessary government regulation that hinders consumer choice at the pump.

    Post date: Thu, 10/18/2018 - 14:07
  • How to protect poultry operations from animal activists | Watt AgNet

    Animal rights activist groups have and will continue to go to extremes, doing almost anything in their power to end animal agriculture. In spite of the industry’s commitment to animal welfare, these extremist groups view the agriculture industry as “speciest” if they do not share their same views that animals…

    Post date: Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:12

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Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017


Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”