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Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides

Science Daily | Posted on November 13, 2018 in Agriculture News

Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.In a scientific review and call to action published in PLOS Medicine, the researchers call for immediate government intervention to phase out all organophosphates."There is compelling evidence that ex

The devil is in the detail of community solar plan

New Jersey Spotlight | Posted on November 13, 2018 in Energy News

Developers want state subsidies but not everybody agrees with that.

ICE is holding a record number of immigrants in detention

AXIOS | Posted on November 13, 2018 in News

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is holding a record-breaking average of 44,631 immigrants in its detention centers daily. Why it matters: That's 4,000 more people than Congress has funded, and some immigrant rights groups want to know where the money is coming from, according to the Daily Beast. Earlier this year, it was reported that the Department of Homeland Security used $169 million of funds from other sub-agencies — including the Federal Emergency Management Agency — to help fund ICE's detention efforts.

SARL Members and Alumni News

The US just elected 8 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist.

Business Insider | Posted on November 8, 2018

When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks — at least 123, according to the news website Axios, including the first Muslim women, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women. There will be more scientists too.

Mass. High Court Considers Whether Farm Workers Should've Gotten Overtime Pay

New England Public Radio | Posted on November 8, 2018

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Monday took up the definitions of farming and agriculture.  And those two terms are central to whether some former workers should have received overtime pay at a Whatley, Massachusetts, company that produces bean sprouts.Farm workers in the state receive a lower minimum wage than others, and are not eligible for overtime pay.Attorney Susan Garcia Nofi represents the employees, and said they should have received overtime since they worked in the processing plant at Chang Enterprises.

Kaua‘i’s New Program for Renewable Energy

Hawaii Public Radio | Posted on November 8, 2018

The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative is asking for proposals as part of its “Community Based Renewable Energy Programs” – and companies are responding. The program aims to expand access to renewable energy to those living in apartments, as well as small business owners and community groups.

The environmental ballot measures that midterm voters backed or rejected

CNN | Posted on November 8, 2018

Among the more than 150 statewide measures on ballots in Tuesday's midterm election were several related to climate change and the environment.Voters in 37 states -- many of them in the West -- considered whether they were for or against initiatives related to renewable energy, carbon emissions and offshore drilling.Here's how some of the most notable environmental- and climate change-related measures went, based on preliminary results.

California Veterinarians can talk about marijuana, but that is all

AVMA | Posted on November 5, 2018

California has become the first state in the nation to allow veterinarians to legally talk with clients about cannabis as a treatment option for pets.

Agriculture News

Leading researchers call for a ban on widely used insecticides

Science Daily | Posted on November 13, 2018

Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.Public health experts have found there is sufficient evidence that prenatal exposure to widely used insecticides known as organophosphates puts children at risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.In a scientific review and call to action published in PLOS Medicine, the researchers call for immediate government intervention to phase out all organophosphates."There is compelling evidence that ex

Depressed milk prices forcing more farmers out of operation

The State | Posted on November 13, 2018

High production costs and falling commodity prices over the past four years are forcing more and more dairy farmers out of business in Iowa and other dairy states, according to agribusiness experts and farm groups.The global flood of milk has depressed prices to about half what they were in 2014, and they still haven't hit all-time lows. But U.S.

USDA cuts corn, soybean crops

Farm Futures | Posted on November 12, 2018

Grain futures are mixed this morning. Though USDA cut its forecast of corn and soybean production in Thursday morning’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, it projected tighter corn carryout but rising soybean inventories. Corn posted modest gains while soybeans sold off as a result.  “USDA’s attempt to update the supply and demand situation today was muddied by uncertainty over what’s going on in China,” notes Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr.

U.S. agriculture coalition meets in Havana despite Trump crackdown

Reuters | Posted on November 12, 2018

Representatives of U.S. agribusiness, the farming lobby and related industries opened a three-day conference in Cuba on Thursday aimed at increasing sales and cooperation with a country that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly lambasted and promised to tighten sanctions on.The U.S. Agricultural Coalition for Cuba, which seeks increased trade with Cuba and the lifting of the trade embargo, is sponsoring the event.U.S.

Florida's ban on racing will leave thousands of greyhounds homeless

Indy Star  | Posted on November 12, 2018

Florida's vote on Tuesday to ban greyhound racing was a victory for animal rights activists. Voters approved Amendment 13 by an overwhelming 69 percent, which means the state's 11 racetracks will need to close by January 2021. This will displace at least 6,000 dogs, which means rescue organizations — particularly those focused on former racing greyhounds — will be overwhelmed.  For many years, Animal welfare organizations have argued that greyhound racing is a cruel sport.

Federal News

ICE, Seaboard reach $1 million settlement

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on November 12, 2018

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Seaboard Corp. announced the pork processor has agreed to pay just over $1 million in a civil settlement that concludes an investigation into alleged employment of unauthorized workers from 2007-2012. The government investigated whether Seaboard’s Guymon, Okla., plant hired and employed unauthorized workers and failed to properly complete employment eligibility forms.

Oregon ranchers volunteer to test new wolf deterrence strategy

Capital Press | Posted on November 12, 2018

Two Eastern Oregon ranchers have volunteered to test a new strategy aimed at preventing further conflicts between wolves and livestock.

Winnowing farm programs

Ag Policy | Posted on November 8, 2018

The 2018 Farm Bill is being written in an intensely partisan environment. We see it in the campaign rallies, we see it in the ads on television, we see the results of partisanship in day to day interactions when neighbors are afraid to talk to each other if they are on opposite sides of the divide. That partisanship is clearly evident when it comes to the nutrition title of the farm bill where some want to make critical changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Program and others don’t. But when it comes to the commodity title, no partisanship is evident.

New NAFTA's sunset clause is a ticking time bomb

The Hill | Posted on November 8, 2018

The United States, Mexico and Canada just finished renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the future of the new NAFTA remains uncertain.

Frost thaws in U.S.-China ties ahead of G20 meeting

Reuters | Posted on November 7, 2018

The United States and China will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday, the latest sign of a thaw in relations, as China’s vice president said Beijing was willing to talk with Washington to resolve their bitter trade dispute.The resumption of high-level dialogue, marked by a phone call last week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, comes ahead of an expected meeting between the two at the G20 summit in Argentina starting in late November.It follows months of recriminations spanning trade, U.S.

Rural News

6-foot gator, pythons removed from Kansas City home

KSHB Kansas City | Posted on November 12, 2018

 Deputies in Kansas City, Missouri serving an eviction notice on Wednesday morning got quite the surprise when they found some illegal animals at the home.  A six-foot, 150-pound alligator, three pythons, a rabbit and several “domesticated” animals, including cats, were found at a home in the Kansas City, according to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Opioid marketing unintentionally protected rural black region

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 8, 2018

 

Mississippi project builds on cultural strengths

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 8, 2018

If you want to build something strong and beautiful, get creative people involved.  That advice works whether you are building a house, a piece of art, or even a regional economy, says a Delta nonprofit leader who is helping develop the business skills of “creatives” in Mississippi.“I think some people forget how innovative the Delta really is,” says Tim Lampkin, the founder of Higher Purpose Co., a community development nonprofit based in Clarksdale, Mississippi.  To help make that happen, Higher Purpose Co.

USDA programs cover the essentials

Daily Yonder | Posted on November 8, 2018

The federal Ag Department’s programs address the fundamental goods and services that humans need to survive. Water, food, housing, electricity and more are all part of the department’s portfolio. A book that we have recently read, No Small Hope: Towards the Universal Provision of Basic Goods by Kenneth Reinert, makes the argument that there is a minimal set of basic goods and services that should be put into the hands of everyone in the world. Reinert is professor of public policy and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Illinois closely watching virus that has killed more than 400 deer

The Telegraph | Posted on November 8, 2018

Illinois says a virus outbreak has claimed more than 400 deer this year and has spread to 49 counties, including Schuyler, Greene, Macoupin, Cass and Sangamon counties in west-central Illinois. While most of the deaths of white-tailed deer from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease have been in Peoria, Lawrence and Fulton counties, the numbers as of this week were significant in Schuyler, Menard and Macoupin counties in the region. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received reports of 432 suspected cases of the disease so far this year.

Energy News

The devil is in the detail of community solar plan

New Jersey Spotlight | Posted on November 13, 2018

Developers want state subsidies but not everybody agrees with that.

DuPont sells Iowa ethanol plant to German company; it will soon make renewable natural gas

Des Moines Register | Posted on November 12, 2018

The DuPont cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada will be sold to a German biofuels company's U.S. subsidiary, which plans to convert the plant to produce renewable natural gas.  Verbio North America Corp., the Michigan-based subsidiary of Verbio Vereinigte BioEnergie AG, will purchase the next-generation Iowa ethanol plant and a portion of its corn stover inventory. Verbio declined to provide a purchase price.The company expects to use corn stalks, husks and cobs to make the renewable natural gas, said Greg Northrup, president of Verbio's U.S.

Nebraska fuel retailers add ethanol options to set themselves apart

Capital Press | Posted on November 12, 2018

A local gas retailer wants to show the competition who's "boss" when it comes to biofuels.

Slumping Ethanol Price Hurts Producers

DTN | Posted on November 12, 2018

Ethanol profit margins continue to remain negative and show little sign of improving, as evidenced by DTN's hypothetical ethanol plant, which continues to suffer from low ethanol prices.Neeley Biofuels Inc., a hypothetical 50-million-gallon plant in South Dakota, saw little movement in its margin in the past month. Including debt service and depreciation, the plant continues to show a 34.4-cent-per-gallons loss, compared to a 34.5-cent-per-gallon loss last month.Most ethanol plants, however, are not paying debt service.

Well-designed subsidies boost electric vehicle adoption

Energy News Network | Posted on November 12, 2018

In the 1990s, Atlanta was out of compliance with federal air quality standards for ozone, and vehicle emissions were primarily responsible. In 1998, the legislature passed a $1,500 tax credit for alternate fuel vehicles, which was increased to $2,500 for all low-emission vehicles and $5,000 for zero-emission vehicles over the next 3 years. The tax credit applied to buyers and first lessees of EVs. At the time, the bills were uncontroversial.As years passed, EVs became more widely available and declined in cost.

Food News

Devon farmer receives death threats after offering 'pick your own Christmas turkey' service

itv | Posted on November 12, 2018

Staff at a farm shop in Devon say they have received death threats from a "vegan mafia" group after offering a "pick your own Christmas turkey" service.Vandals spray painted pheasants and the words "Murder" and "Go vegan" at the Greendale Farm Shop in Woodbury Salterton.Farmer Mat Carter told ITV News staff had discovered the vandalism on Tuesday morning and it was "disappointing and disheartening".He added the whole thing was "completely baffling".The farm posted on social media details of its service where people can name their own turkey and "help look after it for the next two months".M

Water buffalo meat sparks labeling concerns

Capital Press | Posted on November 8, 2018

The appearance of imported water buffalo meat on U.S. retail shelves has alarmed U.S. bison producers, who worry the product isn’t being inspected or properly labeled. The National Bison Association has requested an investigation by the U.S.

What ballot measures affecting food and grocery passed?

Food Dive | Posted on November 8, 2018

In the midterm elections Tuesday, voters returned mixed results on three ballot measures impacting the food and grocery industry. Oregon voters rejected Measure 103 — which would ban all new grocery taxes — with 57.2% voting against the ban on taxing groceries, according to unofficial results on Wednesday morning​, with more than 1.3 million total votes counted. Washington's Initiative 1634, which would also ban all new grocery taxes, passed with 54.8% of the vote with 1.9 million votes counted, according to unofficial results on Wednesday morning. 

Can fermented dairy shield you against heart disease?

Medical News Today | Posted on November 5, 2018

Many experts have debated the effect of dairy on cardiovascular health. A recent study in Finland has shown that consuming a particular type of dairy, namely fermented dairy, may actually have a protective effect against heart disease. Such products include cheese, kefir, yogurt, quark, and sour milk.The team's findings, which appear in the British Journal of Nutrition, indicate that men who consume fermented dairy have a lower risk of incident CHD than men who prefer non-fermented dairy products.

Why cows get a bad rap in lab-grown meat debate

The Daily Yonder | Posted on November 1, 2018

Proponents of cultured meat - or whatever we wind up calling it --aren't painting an accurate picture of the impact the new food could have on the environment. For that matter, they aren't painting an accurate picture of the impact of real beef, either. A scientist says when it comes to weighing the effect of ruminants, there's a lot to chew over. A battle royal is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat?