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Agriculture News

Antibiotic Resistance: A Human Health Perspective

Animal Agriculture | Posted on August 5, 2016

The last century saw history’s most dramatic improvements in medical care and health, fueled to a great degree by the development and widespread use of antibiotics. However, in the conflict between bacterial evolution and human ingenuity, many reports suggest that in this century, the bacteria seem to have gained the advantage. Maintaining our dominance over bacterial infections will require more than just the application of scientific advances in fields like microbiology, bacterial and human genomics, biochemistry and information technology. We will need the broadest societal engagement and an acceptance of the need both to rethink how antibiotics are used and to create effective global partnerships since drug-resistant bacteria have no respect for national boundaries. No simple or magical solutions exist, and the necessary changes in beliefs, attitudes and practices can only be achieved with sustained effort and open, transparent communication.


U of M plans new investment in ag research, education and Extension

University of Minnesota | Posted on August 5, 2016

A nearly $5 million state investment in agricultural productivity at the University of Minnesota will be used this year to hire scientists and improve infrastructure across seven areas of collaboration spanning three U of M colleges and at research and outreach and Extension sites across the state.  The plan announced today covers the first years of a multi-year investment known as the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer Program. The program was established by the state legislature in its 2015 session and funding was established with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to support the program. An advisory panel made up of university leaders, the agriculture department and industry leaders has reviewed options and agreed to the spending plan. U of M leaders announced the plan today in conjunction with Farm Fest, the state’s largest agricultural industry gathering.


The city’s last milk plant, closing after nearly 100 years in business

New York Daily News | Posted on August 4, 2016

After nearly 100 years in business, the iconic Queens, New York dairy that provided milk cartons to New York City schools is closing up shop.  The owners of Elmhurst Dairy announced that the last remaining milk processing plant in the five boroughs will close at the end of October.  It currently employs 273 workers.  “My family was dedicated to trying to keep the plant open long past the years that it was economically viable because it was the wishes of its founder, Max Schwartz, that future generations of the family continue the business,” said Elmhurst Dairy CEO Henry Schwartz.  The family-owned and -operated dairy processed raw milk from upstate farms, bottled it and distributed it across the five boroughs. Much of it was delivered in small cartons to public schoolkids around the city.


USDA Proposes Updates to Animal Welfare Act Regulations f

USDA | Posted on August 4, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing proposed updates to its regulations for consistence with a 2014 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  APHIS is proposing to exempt business activities that are de minimis – meaning they are of a sufficiently small size, maintain or infrequently exhibit a small number of certain common non-dangerous animals, or owners of household pets that are exhibited occasionally, generate less than a substantial portion of income, and reside exclusively with the owner – from federal licensure and oversight.  “The owners of very small facilities who would be affected by these changes generally provide adequate care for their animals,” said APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea. “This proposal would bring our regulations into line with current statute, and also will allow us to focus our resources where they are most needed.”


Corn and Soybean Revenue Projections for 2016 and 2017

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on August 4, 2016

While considerable uncertainties still exist, revenue projections for 2016 and 2017 are provided in this article for the average of high-productivity farms located in central Illinois. The 2016 revenue projections provide an indication of whether 2016 will be a better or worse income year than 2015, a year in which net incomes on many grain farms were extremely low. The 2017 projection provides information useful when making cash rent, input purchase, and crop choice decisions for 2017. Overall, revenue for 2016 likely will be lower than in 2015. Continued low revenues should be expected for 2017, meaning that cost cutting must continue.


Ag Economy Barometer:Long-term outlook strengthens

Purdue.edu | Posted on August 4, 2016

As the dust settled on what turned out to be a volatile June and early July for commodity markets, agricultural producer sentiment has turned higher (Figure 1). The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 agricultural producers, came in at 112 for July, up from 104 in June and 97 in May.  The improvement in producer sentiment occurred despite the fact that grain and oilseed prices declined sharply in late June and early July, the report said, adding that the uptick in sentiment was driven by producers' expectations for the future. Specifically, the producer Index of Future Expectations jumped to 121 in July, well above June’s observation of 107 and the highest reading for the index since data collection began in the fall of 2015.


Oregon egg handler numbers surge

Capital Press | Posted on August 4, 2016

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of licensed egg handlers in Oregon more than doubled, from 81 to 189, according to ODA records.  Though growers don’t need a license to sell eggs directly from a farm stand or at a farmers’ market, many want to be able to supply grocery stores and restaurants


Ohio, Pa. and N.Y. in early stages of drought

Farm and Dairy | Posted on August 4, 2016

According to the US Drought Monitor, released July 28, almost all of northeast and northcentral Ohio was in a “moderate drought,” the first of four levels of drought severity.

The moderate drought continues in northcentral Pennsylvania, and the majority of both states are classified as “abnormally dry,” a step before drought. The worst conditions are in the northernmost counties of Pennsylvani and into New York, where counties are suffering “severe drought,” or the second level of severity.


Amazing cattle herding ROBOT SHEEPDOG makes debut in Australian Outback

Mirror.co.uk | Posted on August 3, 2016

Sheepdogs could soon be a thing of the past now that a fascinating new robot that can command and control livestock has been unveiled.  The 'Swagbot' made its debut in Australia this week, with this incredible footage showing its ability to herd cows on a large farm.  The large animals can be seen bowing to its demands and running out of its way- like they would a cowboy on a horse. A trial which began last month has confirmed that SwagBot is also able to navigate its way around ditches, logs, swamps, and other features of a typical farm landscape.


Improper dicamba use leaves Mid-South a multitude of drift cases

Delta Farm Press | Posted on August 3, 2016

When Monsanto’s Xtend soybeans were approved for planting this season, many applauded the move. After all, the technology means crops can be sprayed with dicamba and weeds are only becoming tougher to control. There was a huge caveat, though: while the seed could be planted, new, less volatile formulations of dicamba were not approved.  In the run up to planting, Mid-South growers were repeatedly warned over-the-top applications of available dicamba products would not be allowed. Even so, state officials fretted improper spraying would happen following a 2015 growing season when “some individuals — a very small group — used a dicamba product not labeled for this seed,” said Susie Nichols at the Arkansas State Plant Board in April. “That’s a big worry for the Plant Board; there’s a lot of Xtend soybean seed in the state. We’ve tried to let everyone know it’s a violation to use any dicamba product on this technology because none is labeled for this use. “It’s a major concern because dicamba has a very adverse effect on soybeans. It has a propensity to drift and can kill an entire crop and a lot of this new technology. Sure enough, despite the warnings the temptation to spray was too much for some growers. Now, neighboring fields are paying the price. The Missouri Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Pesticide Control is conducting investigations of more than 100 complaints in four southeast Missouri counties


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