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USDA farms out economists whose work challenges Trump policies

Politico | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

The Agriculture Department is moving nearly all its researchers into the economic effects of climate change, trade policy and food stamps – subjects of controversial Trump administration initiatives – outside of Washington, part of what employees claim is a political crackdown on economists whose assessments have raised questions about the president’s policies.


USDA researchers quit in droves as Trump administration plans relocation

The Washington Post | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Federal News

A plan to move Agriculture Department researchers out of Washington has thrown two small but influential science agencies into upheaval. Federal employees at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have quit in unusually large numbers since August, when Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced he would relocate the offices.


More than 600 people will be growing hemp this year in Michigan

Michigan Live | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Agriculture News

More than 600 people are getting involved in the hemp industry this year in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development issued 600 industrial hemp licenses to farmers during four day-long licensing events held at the end of April.Though industrial hemp is now legal in Michigan and the U.S., the federal government is still developing the rules for a national hemp program. Rather than wait until 2020 to start the industrial hemp industry in Michigan, officials decided to launch a pilot program using a provision in the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill.


Farmers eagerly await Trump’s trade aid plan but concern grows that it may disappoint

| Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Federal News

American farmers are eagerly awaiting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest trade aid plan, but there are concerns that producers of corn and wheat could lose out with the package that could top $15 billion. “Details on the new trade mitigation program will be forthcoming shortly, but we want to be clear that the program is being designed to avoid skewing planting decisions one way or another,” USDA said.


Indiana utilities are in midst of identity crisis as customers take power into own hands

Indy Star | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Energy News

The changes came slowly, then seemingly all at once. Next door, your neighbor installed solar panels. You started seeing more and more electric vehicles. When you drove north on I-65, you hit a patch of farmland dotted with large windmills.


What are leaders doing for farmers: not much.

Daily Yonder | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Agriculture News

From our perspective, every candidate needs to get out into rural agricultural areas and listen and learn. And while there are alternate policies preferred by different farmers and farm organizations, there is virtually no dissension on identifying the problem. At the same time, farmers from left, right, and center agree that the current low prices are disastrous. Some see echoes of the 1980s in the rising level of farm bankruptcies.


Japan lifts restrictions on U.S. beef

Capital Press | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Federal News

USDA announced on Friday U.S. beef will now have full access to Japanese markets for the first time in more than 15 years. The U.S. and Japan have agreed on new terms and conditions that eliminate Japan’s restrictions on U.S. beef that have been in place since December 2003, USDA stated.Those restrictions followed the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a Washington state dairy cow.At that time, Japan immediately banned U.S. beef and beef products, and U.S.


Rural and urban economies can improve with cooperation

Wisconsin State Journal | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Data revealed Thursday at MadREP’s “State of the Madison Region Economy” event highlighted significant challenges facing the seven counties outside Dane while also breaking down research reports on the region’s target economic sectors: agriculture, food and beverage; advanced manufacturing; health care; information communications technology; and bioscience.“Our rural areas are significantly under-performing compared to Dane County,” said MadREP President Paul Jadin, who presented the region’s next five-year economic development strategy.There are many reasons for that, not the least of whic


Tyson files suit over USDA inspection

Meat & Poultry | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Agriculture News

Tyson Foods Inc. and Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. filed a federal lawsuit accusing a US Dept. of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) official of falsifying inspections of 4,622 hogs in 2018, forcing the company to destroy 8,000 carcasses. Tyson alleges the inspection issue resulted in $2.4 million in total losses and expenses. In court documents, Tyson alleges that FSIS inspector Yolanda Thompson, DVM, certified slaughtered hogs at the company’s Storm Lake, Iowa plant on March 26, 2018.


Widespread Wetness, Stormy Markets Weigh on Farmers

DTN | Posted onMay 23, 2019 in Agriculture News

This spring is delivering a grim message to many farmers this year. "It seems like both the weather and the markets are telling us not to plant any of the big three cash crops this year," said Dan Petker, a farmer from Ontario, Canada. "Personally, if it stops raining today, we'd still be waiting at least 10 days before we could get started with planting.


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