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Agriculture News

Case Farms responds to report on bird handling violations

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 21, 2017

Case Farms has acknowledged that some of the bird handling standards at its Morganton, N.C., plant were not met, but the company is insisting that it has “a committed responsibility to ensure the well-being and humane handling of all animals in our care.”

Idaho grants packer $1 million for hiring, training 700 workers

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 21, 2017

CS Beef Packers will use a $1.1 million state grant announced Friday to hire and train 701 new workers for full-time positions at the company’s new beef plant in Kuna, Idaho.   CS Beef Packers, a joint venture between Texas-based Caviness Beef Packers and Idaho-based agribusiness J.R. Simplot Co., began operations at the 400,000-square-foot facility on May 30.

Tyson ends chicken site search by selecting western Tennessee

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on November 21, 2017

After months of controversy that ultimately resulted in Tyson Foods Inc. abandoning plans to build a chicken complex in Kansas, the protein giant instead will construct the plant  in Humboldt, Tenn.

CA pot rules open way for potentially larger fields

ABC News | Posted on November 21, 2017

California released long-awaited rules that will govern the state's emerging legal marijuana industry, while potentially opening the way for larger-scale cultivation that some fear could strangle small-farm growers. The thicket of emergency regulations will allow the state to begin issuing temporary licenses for growers, distributors and sellers on Jan. 1, when recreational sales become legal.They provide a regulatory roadmap for business operations, from licensing fees to establishing guidelines for testing, growing and distribution of marijuana in what is projected to be a $7 billion economy, the nation's largest.As for infused munchies, "edible products cannot be shaped like a human, animal, insect, or fruit," according to a summary of the rules.And if you are thinking about alternative transportation for that pot, don't: It's prohibited to use "aircraft, watercraft, drone, rail, human-powered vehicle and unmanned vehicle."The regulations have been in development for months and in some cases covered familiar ground: At first, the state will issue only temporary licenses to growers and retailers, provided they have a local permit to open for business.

Michigan Department of Agriculture seeks pesticide notification

Ionia Sentinel Standard | Posted on November 21, 2017

Residents with verifiable medical conditions are being asked to submit their applications for the 2018 annual Pesticide Notification Registry. The registry enables individuals with verifiable medical conditions to be notified prior to a turf or ornamental application of pesticides on property that is adjacent to their primary residence. “Pesticide application firms use the registry to determine where individuals with verifiable medical conditions reside and notify them before applications are made on adjacent and other surrounding properties,” said Gina Alessandri, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division director at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I encourage those with verifiable medical conditions to register.”Pesticide Notification Registry applicants must submit an application and a physician’s certification form no later than Feb. 1, 2018. The application and forms are available on MDARD’s website at 

Dicamba Update (Part II)

Texas Agriculture Law Blog | Posted on November 21, 2017

There are been a number of articles in the news recently discussing insurance and dicamba drift.  Of course, drift damage is not covered by the damaged farmer’s crop insurance policy.  Generally, injured producers look to the applicator’s liability insurance policy for compensation.  Stories have reported that these claims have been denied for several reasons.  First, claims may be denied if the insurance company determines that their applicator did nothing wrong.  For example, if an applicator somehow violated the label by spraying with wind speeds that were too high or too low or using the wrong nozzle, the insurance company would likely cover that.  If, however, the applicator followed all of the rules, acted reasonably, and there is no evidence of wrongdoing, yet damage occurred, a company may deny coverage.  Second, on the other end of the spectrum, companies will deny claims if they determine their insured knowingly violated the law or the label when applying pesticides.  Third, coverage may be denied due to lack of proof of causation–it may be difficult for the injured farmer to prove exactly who caused the crop damage, particularly if numerous neighbors all applied dicamba.  Finally, concerns have been vocalized that insurance premiums for policies covering spray drift could dramatically increase as a result of the ongoing issues.

Iowa Program Offers Crop Insurance Premium Reduction for Cover Crop Use

Pro Ag | Posted on November 21, 2017

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) has announced a new program aimed at increasing acres of cover crops in the state. Iowa farmers who plant cover crops this fall may be eligible for a five dollar per acre premium reduction on their crop insurance in 2018. IDALS worked with the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), which oversees the federal crop insurance program, to establish a three-year demonstration project aimed at expanding the usage of cover crops in Iowa.“We see this new crop insurance premium reduction as a great way to reach a broader group of farmers and landowners in order to promote continued interest in planting cover crops,” says Iowa deputy secretary of agriculture Mike Naig.  “This streamlined incentive coupled with traditional state and federal cost share programs provides farmers and landowners with a variety of options to gain experience with cover crops and expand their use. Cover crop seeding dates have recently been extended, so there is still an opportunity to seed more acres this fall.”The online sign-up and application process for farmers and landowners to certify eligible land for the program can be found here.

Judge issues blow against Trump's sanctuary city order

CNN | Posted on November 21, 2017

President Donald Trump's latest executive order aimed at implementing the hardline immigration policies he championed during his campaign has been blocked by a federal court.US District Court Judge William Orrick issued a permanent injunction Monday blocking Trump's executive order seeking to strip so-called sanctuary cities of federal funding.The ruling represents a major setback to the administration's attempts to clamp down on cities, counties and states that seek to protect undocumented immigrants who come in contact with local law enforcement from deportation by federal authorities. Monday's ruling, which followed lawsuits from two California counties, nullifies Trump's January executive order on the matter, barring the administration from setting new conditions on spending approved by Congress.

Confusion over GMOs must stop, farmers tell a listening FDA

Southeast Farm Press | Posted on November 16, 2017

Two farmers told a public hearing sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration that biotechnology allows farmers to increase yields while using less fuel, less chemicals and with less impact on the environment. Bryant Chapman, a dairy, beef, poultry and grain farmer in Alexander County, N.C., and Don Duvall, a grain farmer from Carmi, Ill., both emphasized that biotechnology allows farmers to produce abundant and affordable food with less inputs.

Long-term Study Finds That the Pesticide Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer

The Scientist | Posted on November 16, 2017

A new study has found no conclusive link between exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in a popular weedkiller—and cancer. The new study, which was seen by Reuters, draws on long-term data collected through the Agricultural Health Study. This has monitored the health of nearly 90,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina from 1993 to 2010, including farmers licensed to apply pesticides to their crops, and their spouses. The researchers tell Reuters that among more than 54,000 pesticide applications taken into account in the study, 83 percent contained glyphosate. Yet they found no significant increase in cancers among those exposed to the chemical.The widespread use of glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, has become increasingly controversial as studies have produced mixed results on the hazards it poses to humans.