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This will be the last Ag Clips before Christmas

State Agriculture and Rural Leaders | Posted on November 22, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

We will be visiting farms and touring agriculture in New Zealand, so there will  be no AG Clips again until the Christmas edition. If one happens to slip out it is just a repeat. Have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday. Peace. love and kindness to all.
 

Chevron granted waiver from U.S. biofuel laws at Utah plant

Reuters | Posted on November 22, 2018 in Energy News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted oil major Chevron Corp a 2017 hardship waiver from U.S. biofuel laws for its Utah refinery earlier this year.

The future of food production amid global change

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Posted on November 22, 2018 in Agriculture News

When it comes to impacting global change, agriculture cuts both ways. Subject to the vicissitudes of global climate change, population, and economic growth, the cultivation of crops and livestock alters atmospheric concentrations of planet-warming greenhouse gases and ]contributes to pollution of freshwater and coastal areas.

SARL Members and Alumni News

This will be the last Ag Clips before Christmas

State Agriculture and Rural Leaders | Posted on November 22, 2018

We will be visiting farms and touring agriculture in New Zealand, so there will  be no AG Clips again until the Christmas edition. If one happens to slip out it is just a repeat. Have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday. Peace. love and kindness to all.
 

State denies permit to Arkansas hog farm near Buffalo River

Minnesota Star Tribune | Posted on November 22, 2018

An Arkansas environmental regulatory agency denied a permit for a hog farm Monday because of concerns that pig waste might be contaminating the nearby Buffalo River. The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality issued a final decision that C&H Hog Farm in Vendor can no longer operate.

FDA extends milk labeling comment period

FDA | Posted on November 22, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is extending by 60 days, until January 28, 2019, the comment period on the request for information on labeling plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods, such as “milk,” “yogurt,” and “cheese.” The original comment period was scheduled to end on November 27. The agency is taking this action in response to requests for additional time to submit comments.

Recent Right-to-Farm decisions around the U.S.

Southwest Farm Press | Posted on November 22, 2018

There have been several court decisions lately across the country related to states’ Right to Farm statutes. These cases provide good examples of the types of claims that can arise against a farm operation and also illustrate the differences between each state’s Right to Farm Act. The Pennsylvania Right-to-Farm Act was at issue in Burlingame v. Dagostin, 2018 WL 1530690.

Attorney General takes war on Trump to Utah monuments

Capital Press | Posted on November 22, 2018

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson spearheads an 11-state coalition joining the fight to overturn President Donald Trump’s downsizing of two national monuments in Utah, a court battle that the American Farm Bureau Federation says will affect the value of federal rangelands and private ranches in the West.

Agriculture News

The future of food production amid global change

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Posted on November 22, 2018

When it comes to impacting global change, agriculture cuts both ways. Subject to the vicissitudes of global climate change, population, and economic growth, the cultivation of crops and livestock alters atmospheric concentrations of planet-warming greenhouse gases and ]contributes to pollution of freshwater and coastal areas.

Dairy farmers refuse £6,000 to allow filming of milk production in Denmark

Independent | Posted on November 22, 2018

Dairy farmers in Denmark have refused an offer of nearly £6,000 to let animal-rights campaigners film the production of milk, butter and cheese. The country’s farmers, who supply dairy products for the firm behind British brands Anchor and Lurpak, have not accepted the cash incentive to let cameras in to record how cows and calves are treated every day.

India is about to become the world's biggest sugar producer

Business Times | Posted on November 22, 2018

Brazil, traditionally the world's top sugar producer, is poised to cede the crown to India for the first time in 16 years. Production in the Asian country this season may rise 5.2 per cent to a record 35.9 million metric tons on increasing acreage and improving yields, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service said Tuesday in a report.

Monsanto appeals $78M verdict in California weed killer suit

AP | Posted on November 22, 2018

Agribusiness giant Monsanto on Tuesday appealed a $78 million verdict in favor of a dying California man who said the company’s widely used Roundup weed killer was a major factor in his cancer. The company filed a notice of appeal in San Francisco Superior Court challenging a jury verdict in favor of DeWayne Johnson. In August, the jury unanimously found that Roundup caused Johnson’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and awarded him $289 million.Last month, Judge Suzanne Bolanos slashed that award to $78 million. Monsanto had sought a new trial or judgment in its favor.

U.S. judge selects first case in federal Monsanto weed-killer litigation

Reuters | Posted on November 22, 2018

A U.S. judge overseeing the federal litigation against Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit over glyphosate-based weed-killers allegedly causing cancer on Tuesday selected the first case to be tried in federal court in February 2019. U.S. District Judge Vince Chaabria in San Francisco in an order said the case of California resident Edwin Hardeman will be the first out of more than 620 cases pending in the federal litigation to go to a jury.Hardeman’s case will mark the second trial in the U.S.

Federal News

USMCA will cause US ag exports to decline by $1.8B

Watt AgNet | Posted on November 22, 2018

A new report says the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will expand U.S. agricultural exports by $450 million, but those gains will be negated by retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico against the U.S. The study, “How U.S. Agriculture Will Fare Under the USMCA and Retaliatory Tariffs,” was commissioned by agricultural policy institute Farm Foundation and completed by Purdue University agricultural economists Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, Ph.D., Wallace Tyner, Ph.D., and Maksym Chepeliev, Ph.D.The analysis says retaliatory tariffs will cause U.S.

Beijing issues rare public warning on 'serious' swine fever crisis

CNN | Posted on November 22, 2018

Chinese authorities have announced strict new measures in an attempt to halt the country's fast-growing African swine fever crisis, which has spread to 18 provinces and led to the culling of more than 200,000 pigs.Days after acknowledging the situation was "serious," the Chinese Agricultural Ministry on Friday reported the first outbreak of the disease in the southwestern province of Sichuan in a farm of 40 pigs.The news is especially concerning for officials as Sichuan is the top swine-producing region in China -- a country that produces half of the world's pigs with a current population o

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the census citizenship case. Here’s why that matters.

Washington Post | Posted on November 22, 2018

Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced in March that a question about citizenship would be added to the 2020 Census. Wide-ranging opposition followed — from local and state government officials, members of Congress and former Census Bureau directors, all citing consequences for decades to come. Historically, the Census Bureau has worked to guarantee the most accurate count of the entire United States population, notwithstanding citizenship.

Immigration and the dairy industry

Daily Sentinel  | Posted on November 22, 2018

As dairy operations increase animal numbers, they have also increased dependence on a larger labor pool. That labor pool has become less dominated by family members, and more dependent on foreign born labor. There undoubtedly would be benefits, however, there is significant risk for the dairy industry in any immigration legislation.The most recent significant immigration legislation was the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986. In 2013, the full U.S.

A $12 Billion Program to Help Farmers Stung by Trump’s Trade War Has Aided Few

The New York Times | Posted on November 22, 2018

America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow, with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far. According to the Department of Agriculture, just $838 million has been paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made available in September. Another pool of up to $6 billion is expected to become available next month.

Rural News

Austin brazenly annexes rural townships

Post Bulletin | Posted on November 22, 2018

As rural residents we are very concerned with the recent actions of the city of Austin.For decades, Lansing Township has been steadily annexed into the city of Austin bit by bit. More than 2,000 acres to date, despite the city experiencing a steady loss of businesses and population over those same years.Our township is a farming community; we have spent many years and resources maintaining these attributes. We need farms to stay farms.

Vets battle to reunite pets with their owners after deadly blaze

Independent  | Posted on November 22, 2018

Over the past week, first responders have carried thousands of injured animals out of the ashes to emergency veterinary hospitals. Many of them were found sitting in the smouldering rubble of their former homes, burned and dazed.At VCA Valley Oak Veterinary Centre in Chico, California, the staff cancelled regular appointments so doctors could focus on wildfire victims. Hundreds of pets, mostly cats, were dropped off over the course of five days.We've run out of space," said Daniel Gebhart, the co-medical director at Valley Oak. He had about 20 animals under his care on Wednesday.

Attorney General takes war on Trump to Utah monuments

Capital Press | Posted on November 22, 2018

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson spearheads an 11-state coalition joining the fight to overturn President Donald Trump’s downsizing of two national monuments in Utah, a court battle that the American Farm Bureau Federation says will affect the value of federal rangelands and private ranches in the West.

Amazon forests failing to keep up with climate change

Science Daily | Posted on November 21, 2018

New research has assessed the impact of global warming on thousands of tree species across the Amazon to discover the winners and losers from 30 years of climate change. The analysis found the effects of climate change are altering the rainforest's composition of tree species but not quickly enough to keep up with the changing environment.

Rainforest destruction from gold mining hits all-time high in Peru

Science Daily | Posted on November 21, 2018

Small-scale gold mining has destroyed more than 170,000 acres of primary rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon in the past five years, according to a new analysis.

Energy News

Chevron granted waiver from U.S. biofuel laws at Utah plant

Reuters | Posted on November 22, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency granted oil major Chevron Corp a 2017 hardship waiver from U.S. biofuel laws for its Utah refinery earlier this year.

Federal judge blocks construction of Keystone pipeline

USA Today | Posted on November 22, 2018

A federal judge issued an order Thursday blocking construction of the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline until further environmental analysis is conducted. The decision comes as TransCanada is preparing to build the oil pipeline beginning in northern Montana, with pipe being shipped to the state by train and trucked to locations along the line.Environmental groups that sued TransCanada and the U.S. Department of State in federal court in Great Falls called the decision to overturn the Trump administration-issued permit a landmark ruling.

No penalties for 90% of pipeline blasts

E&E News | Posted on November 21, 2018

 Federal regulators at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ordered Columbia to repair the line and inspect it at a higher standard. But they didn't seek a financial penalty. They rarely do. Since the beginning of 2010, interstate pipelines have exploded or caught fire 137 times, according to an E&E News analysis of interstate pipeline enforcement and incident data. In about 90 percent of those cases, PHMSA sought no fine.

There's still life in rural Tennessee, and electric co-ops power it

The Tennessean | Posted on November 21, 2018

You can’t deny it – big things are happening in Tennessee. Last season the Predators brought home the division title, and they now reside at the top of the Central Division. We’re home to the NFL and we have a beautiful new minor league baseball field.  A major league soccer team will soon play in a new stadium.Nashville is not alone.

Renewables can challenge existing coal plants on price

Utility Dive | Posted on November 18, 2018

Average costs for wind and solar energy can undercut existing coal generation even without subsidies, according to analysis from the research firm Lazard.The latest version of Lazard's levelized cost of energy (LCOE) analysis finds that U.S. onshore wind energy costs average between $26/MWh and $56/MWh without subsidies, while utility-scale solar averages between $36/MWh and $44/MWh. That challenges the average cost for existing U.S. coal plants, which Lazard pegs between $27/MWh and $45/MWh.

Food News

Lack of farm labor could make fruits, vegetables unaffordable

USA Today | Posted on November 22, 2018

My farm's fresh strawberries are available at reasonable prices all year because of foreign labor. But immigration rules could put farms in the lurch.As a third-generation family farmer with decades of experience, I’ve spent years grappling with the impact of this worker shortage.I grow strawberries. This April, at the beginning of peak harvest season, I didn’t have enough workers to pick all the ripe berries before they rotted in the fields. In a single month, I lost $500,000.When I first entered the strawberry business in the 1970s, the fruit was considered a luxury item.

FDA extends milk labeling comment period

FDA | Posted on November 22, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is extending by 60 days, until January 28, 2019, the comment period on the request for information on labeling plant-based products with names that include the names of dairy foods, such as “milk,” “yogurt,” and “cheese.” The original comment period was scheduled to end on November 27. The agency is taking this action in response to requests for additional time to submit comments.

Trade deal between Mexico, European Union creates stink for U.S. cheese makers

USA Today | Posted on November 22, 2018

In Mexico, asiago cheese can no longer be labeled and sold as asiago unless it comes from the alpine region of northern Italy where the mild, nutty-flavored formaggio originated. The labeling restrictions are part of a new trade deal that Mexico signed in April with the European Union – one of several trade pacts that countries around the globe have been pursuing with each other, often with ramifications for U.S.

Bockchain lets you learn about farms where Thanksgiving turkeys came from

Chicago Tribune | Posted on November 21, 2018

Visiting the family farm, which still uses 1960s-era technology in its plant, is a decidedly old-school way for people to learn more about where their Thanksgiving meal comes from. But many people don’t have the time or stomach for the on-the-farm experience. For those who don’t, there are an increasing number of options.

Draft EPA study finds newer nonstick compound may be harmful

AP | Posted on November 21, 2018

Long-term exposure to a chemical compound currently used for making nonstick coatings appears to be dangerous, even in minute amounts, according to draft findings released Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was the first time EPA weighed in on newer, supposedly safer versions of an increasingly scrutinized family of stick- and stain-resistant compounds.