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A week after Hurricane Michael, rural residents feel stranded

Washington Post | Posted on October 19, 2018 in Rural News

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.

USDA suspends pork imports from Poland over African swine fever concerns

Agri-Pulse | Posted on October 19, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

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.

Grains slide 2 % as exports disappoint

Agriculture.com | Posted on October 18, 2018 in Agriculture News

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.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Kansas Forest Service, fire officials say state’s wildfire suppression capabilities inadequate

High Plains Journal | Posted on October 17, 2018

An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka. “We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.

His farm is buried under lava, but he can’t find relief from payments on his state agricultural loan

Hawaii News Now | Posted on October 17, 2018

A Big Island farmer whose fields are buried under lava says the state is still requiring him pay off a $22,000 loan on the land — even though he’s not allowed to step foot on the property.“The state of Hawaii sanctioned me to farm in lava zone 1. They knew I was in lava zone 1. They financed me," said farmer Gregg Adams, who owns Dragon Fruit Farms — about a mile beyond the checkpoint on Highway 132.“They had a vested interest in me.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter says hunter ‘tainted’ Idaho’s reputation. ‘This is not us.’

Idaho Statesman | Posted on October 17, 2018

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said Tuesday that former Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner Blake Fischer’s hunting photos “tainted” Idaho’s reputation as they drew criticism from around the world. Fischer resigned Monday at Otter’s request — three days after the Idaho Statesman first reported that several former Fish and Game commissioners disapproved of Fischer’s photos.“We’d like to get this behind us,” Otter said, “because this is not us.”Fischer emailed more than 100 friends and colleagues last month with pictures and descriptions from the hunting kills he and his wife made on a trip to Namibia.

North Carolina lawmakers approve $400M in Florence spending

AP News | Posted on October 17, 2018

The sharp partisanship that’s typified North Carolina’s government was buried temporarily on Monday as legislators approved spending $400 million to quickly help people and communities reeling from flooding left by Hurricane Florence and setting aside another $450 million for upcoming needs.

Marijuana is emerging among California’s vineyards, offering promise and concern

Washington Post | Posted on October 17, 2018

t is the fall harvest here in this fertile stretch of oaks and hills that produces some of the country’s best wine. This season, though, workers also are plucking the sticky, fragrant flowers of a new crop. Marijuana is emerging among the vineyards, not as a rival to the valley’s grapes but as a high-value commodity that could help reinvigorate a fading agricultural tradition along the state’s Central Coast.

Agriculture News

USDA suspends pork imports from Poland over African swine fever concerns

Agri-Pulse | Posted on October 19, 2018

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.

Grains slide 2 % as exports disappoint

Agriculture.com | Posted on October 18, 2018

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.

How to protect poultry operations from animal activists

Watt AgNet | Posted on October 18, 2018

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…

Winter ticks killing moose at alarming rate

Science Daily | Posted on October 18, 2018

Researchers have found that the swell of infestations of winter ticks -- which attach themselves to moose during the fall and feed throughout the winter -- is the primary cause of an unprecedented 70 percent death rate of calves over a three-year period.

Organic farming with gene editing: An oxymoron or a tool for sustainable agriculture?

The Conversation | Posted on October 18, 2018

Many organic advocates claim that genetically engineered crops are harmful to human health, the environment, and the farmers who work with them.

Federal News

USDA suspends pork imports from Poland over African swine fever concerns

Agri-Pulse | Posted on October 19, 2018

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.

Wilbur Ross opens new front in trade war with $11M in fish farm grants

Washington Examiner | Posted on October 18, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross doled out $11 million Wednesday aimed at jumpstarting the U.S. aquaculture industry, or fish farming, and limiting dependence on foreign seafood imports. “With such vast coastlines, there is no reason the United States should be importing billions of pounds of seafood each year,” Ross said. Growing a domestic aquaculture industry would create jobs while making the nation more food secure, he said.The U.S. imported more than 6 billion pounds of seafood, more than $21.5 billion worth, in 2017, according to the agency.

Trump tells May to abandon 'unjustified' food standards for Brexit trade deal

Business Insider | Posted on October 18, 2018

Donald Trump announces his plan to negotiate a free trade deal with the UK after Brexit.

Behind the partisan fight to eliminate the contry's largest conservation program

Pacific Standard | Posted on October 18, 2018

The 2018 farm bill has stalled weeks after its predecessor lapsed—and so, it seems, have negotiations. Congress, now in recess, has yet to mend the gulf between two competing versions: a Senate version with bipartisan support, and the House bill, which proposes serious cuts to federal conservation programs as well as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.Republican representatives have framed these cuts as a financial necessity.

Edible cottonseed review shifts to FDA

Politico | Posted on October 17, 2018

Cottonseed could become a high-protein food option, providing a boon to cotton growers, if FDA signs off on a new genetically engineered variety. Traditional cottonseed is toxic for humans and most animals because it contains a poisonous substance called gossypol. But a team of ag scientists at Texas A&M developed a type of cottonseed that contains very low levels of gossypol, making it edible for humans — and creating the possibility that the tree nut could help address global malnutrition. USDA green-lighted the biotechnology on Tuesday.

Rural News

A week after Hurricane Michael, rural residents feel stranded

Washington Post | Posted on October 19, 2018

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.

World Heritage Sites threatened by rising sea levels

 | Posted on October 18, 2018

In the Mediterranean region, there are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in low-lying coastal areas. In the course of the 21st century, these sites will increasingly be at risk by storm surges and increasing coastal erosion due to sea-level rise.

Kansas Forest Service, fire officials say state’s wildfire suppression capabilities inadequate

High Plains Journal | Posted on October 17, 2018

An audit of state agency responses to two recent wildfires in Kansas showed that the state’s wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs do not sufficiently prepare the state for wildfire response, according to Kansas State Forester, Larry Biles and Fire Management Officer, Mark Neely. They spoke before the state’s legislative budget committee on Oct. 3 in Topeka. “We are encouraged to see the legislature focus on what is the state’s most rapidly growing hazards – wildfires,” said Biles.

Florida Governor issues ultimatum to Verizon: Give me a plan to restore service, and treat customers fairly

Tampa Bay Times | Posted on October 17, 2018

Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued another rebuke of Verizon today, telling the cell provider in a terse press release that he expects the company to give him a plan today to restore service to the areas hit by Hurricane Michael, and that all cell providers should waive bills for October. The press release was addressed to all cell phone providers, but it singled out Verizon, which has struggled to restore service in Bay County, where Michael made landfall.

How Fentanyl Changes the Opioid Equation

Pew Trust | Posted on October 17, 2018

More than a decade into the opioid epidemic, illicit fentanyl and related synthetic drugs are now driving the nation’s spiraling overdose death toll. Involved in nearly half of the roughly 200 U.S. drug overdose deaths every day, fentanyl appears to be here to stay. “Even if we do a really good job at the border and start making a serious dent in shipments from China and Mexico, we need to anticipate that people will simply start cooking it here. It’s already happening,” U.S.

Energy News

Trump Gives Farmers a Jolt of Fuel

Wall Street Journal | Posted on October 18, 2018

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.

Sony Shifts US 100% Renewable Energy Goal Forward By A Decade

Clean Technica | Posted on October 17, 2018

Only a month after it announced that it was joining the RE100 initiative and committing to sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2040, entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corporation has announced this week it is bringing forward its US goal by a decade.

Applying auto industry's fuel-efficiency standards to agriculture could net billions

Science Daily | Posted on October 17, 2018

Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded.

Neighbors sue to block planned Montana wind farm

The State | Posted on October 17, 2018

Neighbors of a planned wind farm in southwestern Montana are suing to block the project. The Livingston Enterprise reports the Crazy Mountain Wind Farm would harvest 80 megawatts of electricity from 24 wind towers near the Sweet Grass and Park county line.Construction is scheduled to begin next spring.The lawsuit filed late last month in Park County is by four neighboring property owners with ranching and agricultural land.They allege the wind project will threaten wetlands, migratory birds, bald eagles, historic trails, businesses and the health of people living in the vicinity.

Expanding ethanol sales would have limited U.S. market impact: analysts

Reuters | Posted on October 16, 2018

The Trump administration’s plan to allow year-round sales of higher-grade corn ethanol would have limited impact on the depressed U.S. ethanol market, with record supplies and prices for the fuel hovering near the lowest in a decade, analysts said.

Food News

FDA Removes 7 Synthetic Flavoring Substances from Food Additives List

FDA | Posted on October 18, 2018

The FDA is amending its food additive regulations in response to two food additive petitions, to no longer allow for the use of a total of 7 synthetic flavoring substances and flavor enhancers (adjuvants). The FDA determined that the data presented in one of the petitions submitted to the FDA by Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumers Union, Environmental Defense Fund, Environmental Working Group, Improving Kids’ Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, and Mr.

Beyond Meat vegan food company taps investment banks for IPO

CNBC | Posted on October 18, 2018

Beyond Meat has hired J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse for an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter tell CNBC. The IPO will be the first public stock offering for one of the slew of new companies that make vegetarian meat products that also appeal to carnivores.It's current investors include Bill Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio Jack & Suzy Welch, Kleiner Perkins and Tyson Foods.

Homeland security dog intercepts roasted pig head at international airport

ABC | Posted on October 17, 2018

A passenger traveling from Ecuador was relieved of leftovers when an intrepid beagle found a roasted pig's head in baggage at the world's busiest airport. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the Agriculture Detector dog named Hardy alerted to the baggage at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Oct. 11. CBP agriculture specialists then discovered a 2-pound cooked pig's head, which was seized and destroyed.

Natural Resource Defense Council fails most fast food chains on antibiotics

Eco Watch | Posted on October 17, 2018

Right now, many burger chains are putting burger lovers in a bind. If they want to eat meat raised with responsible antibiotic use practices, chicken is the best choice at many mainstream chains. But if we are to make headway on antibiotic resistance crisis, the beef (and pork) industry must be part of the solution.

Edible cottonseed review shifts to FDA

Politico | Posted on October 17, 2018

Cottonseed could become a high-protein food option, providing a boon to cotton growers, if FDA signs off on a new genetically engineered variety. Traditional cottonseed is toxic for humans and most animals because it contains a poisonous substance called gossypol. But a team of ag scientists at Texas A&M developed a type of cottonseed that contains very low levels of gossypol, making it edible for humans — and creating the possibility that the tree nut could help address global malnutrition. USDA green-lighted the biotechnology on Tuesday.