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Agriculture News

Neighboring states’ legal pot means bigger busts in Utah

Capital Press | Posted on June 13, 2018

The Utah Highway Patrol is seizing more marijuana on state highways and interstates since the drug has been legalized in a number of Western states. John Huber, the U.S. Attorney for Utah, says drug busts within the state’s borders historically yielded only a few pounds per stop.But he tells the Deseret News it is no longer unusual to intercept up to 100 pounds at a time as loads of marijuana make their way across the state from places like California and Oregon.


Hurricanes are slowing down, and that's bad news

Science Daily | Posted on June 13, 2018

Some hurricanes are moving more slowly, spending increased time over land and leading to catastrophic local rainfall and flooding, according to a new study.


Spotted Lanternfly Found in Virginia Grapes

Growing Produce | Posted on June 13, 2018

For the first time, spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, has been found on a cultivated crop in Virginia. The invasive pest, which was found on a table grape arbor this past weekend by Virginia Tech Entomology Professor Douglas Pfeiffer, was first found in Frederick County in January.


A Review of the Facts on U.S. Agricultural Trade

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on June 13, 2018

The outlook for trade has darkened considerably in recent days; a gamble in the trade arena that holds substantial risk for American farmers. In May, President Trump initiated a trade investigation on automobiles that held the potential for triggering tariffs on imported cars and trucks. On June 1st, the long-threatened tariffs on steel (25%) and aluminum (10%) went into effect for important U.S. trading partners (Mexico, Canada and the European Union), who quickly responded with threats or tariffs on U.S. exports; Mexico, in particular, imposed tariffs on $3 billion worth of American exports, including agricultural commodities and products. Adding confusion to the concern, President Trump claimed that U.S. farmers haven't been doing well for the last 15 years, and suggested that Canada, China, and Mexico have been treating U.S. farmers unfairly with "big trade barriers". These recent twists in the trade discussions call for further examination of the facts and potential risks, beginning with the data for the last 28 years, back to 1990 and the precursor to NAFTA--the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.


Arkansas won't lift dicamba ban for farmers

KASU | Posted on June 12, 2018

Arkansas officials have denied a request by some farmers to lift the state's ban on in-crop dicamba use.


USDA green lights California’s new federal milk marketing system

Capital Press | Posted on June 12, 2018

California’s dairy industry will begin operating under the federal milk marketing order system on Nov. 1.


Challenge to N.C. ‘ag-gag’ law can proceed

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 12, 2018

A federal appeals court has ruled that a lawsuit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other groups challenging North Carolina’s “ag-gag” law can proceed. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reverses a district court judgment that had dismissed the lawsuit. PETA, the Center for Food Safety, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Farm Sanctuary, Food & Water Watch, and the Government Accountability Project are suing to overturn the state law criminalizing undercover investigations at agricultural facilities.


Why not genetically engineered organic foods?

Washington Examiner | Posted on June 12, 2018

USDA’s arbitrary rules about what is permitted for the “organic” designation prohibit important advances in agriculture and food production, and they unnecessarily restrict consumer choice. That could be remedied by expanding what is permitted under the federal National Organic Standards, and this would be an opportune time. The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990required USDA to develop national standards for the production of "organic foods" because of consumer demand for food that was supposedly more healthful and produced with more sustainable farming methods than traditional farming. However, the standards actually adopted do not improve food safety, quality, or nutrition – nor were they intended to. When the final National Organic Standards were issued in 2000, Secretary Dan Glickman said, “Let me be clear about one thing: the organic label is a marketing tool. It is not a statement about food safety, nor is ‘organic’ a value judgment about nutrition or quality.”  Another Secretary of Agriculture, John Block, added in 2014, “Yet USDA’s own research shows consumers buy higher priced organic products because they mistakenly believe them safer and more nutritious.”


Farmers already at higher risk of suicide face pressure from tariffs

MPR news | Posted on June 12, 2018

After several tough years of prices near or below break even, the economics of the farm sector may soon get worse because of international tariffs.  China, the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, and Mexico, the largest importer of U.S. pork, are threatening tariffs that would likely choke off demand for those farm products and drop prices further.  Worth said it's another unknown farmers face, and another stressor.  "We got people who are fifth- or sixth-generation farmers who may lose the farm. They are thinking they let their ancestors down," he said. Research shows that people in rural areas are much more likely to take their own lives. And a study of suicide in 17 states found people whose occupation involved farming, fishing or forestry were over five times more likely to take their own lives than people in all occupations combined.


Recent Right to Farm Decisions Around the US

Texas Agriculture Law Blog | Posted on June 12, 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.


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