Skip to content Skip to navigation

Agriculture News

Addressing the farm trespassing issue

Wall Street Journal | Posted on December 29, 2016

In Australia, and more specifically in the state of New South Wales, discussions have been taking place in an effort to address at least the trespassing issue without making undercover video filming itself illegal. A series of joint roundtable meetings have been taking place between the state and federal governments and those in livestock and poultry production to discuss the problem of members of animal rights groups trespassing to film videos of alleged or legitimate animal mistreatment. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and New South Wales government officials have floated the idea of stripping the charitable status from animal rights groups whose members trespass. That could be a pretty stern punishment, as it would remove some pretty significant tax benefits. But, if that were to be done, would that be taking things too far?Probably not.Doing wrong to expose another wrong is still wrong. Taking away a group’s charitable status would only send this message: If you want to keep doing undercover videos, feel free, but if you break the law in order to do so, there will be consequences for not only you, but also the group you represent.

Superweed introduced to Minnesota with conservation seed mix

Minneapolis Star Tribune | Posted on December 29, 2016

Federal programs designed to help farmers set aside more habitat for bees and wildlife have produced a dangerous offshoot this year: Some mixes used to plant native grasses and flowers were contaminated with harmful weed seeds that have now been introduced onto hundreds of farms in several Midwestern states, including Minnesota. The weeds include Palmer amaranth, one of the most prolific and devastating weeds in the country for corn, soybeans and other row crops. It has been a scourge for cotton and soybean farmers in the South and has slowly but steadily started to move north into the nation’s Corn Belt. The inadvertent planting of weed seeds on conservation land has greatly accelerated their spread, leading to the discovery of Palmer in Minnesota for the first time.

Animal Rights- From hate to hope to heal

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on December 29, 2016

Many of us in the meat and poultry industry and our antagonists, the animal rights community, spew forth hateful rhetoric at each other similar to what we witnessed during the recent election campaign.  It sickens me.  And, what has it gotten either of us?  The words that emanate from both sides like “cowards” and “murderers” and the like have no basis in fact or logic.  They are the mind’s interpretations of words and actions and they are often not even close to the truth.In past blogs, I have called for direct discussions between the meat industry whose goal is to grow consumption of meat and poultry, and the animal rights folks whose stated purpose is for humane animal treatment as well as to reduce (and for some to eliminate entirely) consumption of meat and poultry.Do you think that the two sides can ever agree on anything with such diametrically opposed positions?  Would there be any worthwhile purpose to such an agreement?  I think so.

Avian flu losses mount in Europe, Asia poultry

Watt Ag Net | Posted on December 28, 2016

The first outbreak of HPAI since July of 2015 has been confirmed in England. Nearly all of the flock of 2,428 housed turkeys at the farm in Louth in the county of Lincolnshire died, and the rest have been destroyed. The presence of the H5N8 virus has been confirmed, the same variant that has been affecting other parts of Europe in recent weeks. Having already called for all poultry to be kept housed, where possible, the veterinary authorities in England, Wales and Scotland have halted all poultry events, and there are additional restrictions on movements of poultry to Northern Ireland from other parts of the U.K.  Hungary has reported to the OIE a further 63 HPAI outbreaks affecting more than 377,000 poultry in the last week alone. These bring the country’s losses to almost 1.33 million birds, mostly ducks and geese, at 161 locations.

Ag Robot Revenue to Reach Multi-Billions by 2024

IOT Evolution | Posted on December 28, 2016

The market for agricultural robots is developing at a rapid pace, with a large number of established and startup agricultural technology companies developing, piloting, and launching an innovative range of robotic systems to tackle a wide variety of tasks, according to a new report from Tractica. Key application areas for agricultural robots include driverless tractors, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), material management, field crops and forest management, soil management, dairy management, and animal management, with a diverse set of subcategories emerging within each of those areas.

Gov.-elect Eric Greitens picks Chris Chinn to lead Missouri agriculture department

The Kansas City Star | Posted on December 28, 2016

Gov.-elect Eric Greitens has named a hog farmer from northeast Missouri to lead the state department of agriculture.


Rethinking EU animal production business model

Watt Ag Net | Posted on December 28, 2016

In other words, I am questioning whether small and medium buyers based in the EU would not mind paying a small premium for vitamins produced within the EU, especially now that this continent is tortured by many years of financial crisis. After all, as many vitamin manufacturers keep telling me, the cost of vitamins is minute compared to total feed cost. And, taking this opportunity, I would like to challenge my fellow EU nutrition business colleagues to consider re-evaluating our business model. For how long can we afford importing animal nutrition products in a market threatened by imports of cheap animal products for human consumption?

5 new research projects receive funding in Canada

Watt Ag Net | Posted on December 28, 2016

The governments of Canada and Manitoba have invested more than $365,000 in five new research projects in Manitoba, including one intended to help reduce the risk of a common, costly and potentially fatal infection in dairy cattle.

Can CRISPR Carry Agriculture Innovation To The Next Level?

Growing Produce | Posted on December 22, 2016

To say CRISPR/Cas9 is every bit as revolutionary as the Internet or the smartphone is an understatement. Scientists are studying applications to fight cancers and it already has been demonstrated the technology can remove HIV from infected human cells. It comes with ethical questions as well for how this technology may benefit humans in the future. The idea of designer babies with reduced diseases linked to faulty genes, or the potential to slow or reverse the aging process may one day be possible using CRISPR/Cas9. Many more human health, animal, and plant applications are being investigated.


Biofuels: Trump Picks Stir Unease

Farm Policy News | Posted on December 22, 2016

“Biofuel supporters largely keep pointing to President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign statements on ethanol, but the stack of nominations coming from Trump with far closer ties to oil than ethanol is quickly starting to raise some red flags. “Trump has largely built his energy team over the past week with the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, followed Monday with the Secretary of State nominee of Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was announced as nominee for Energy Secretary. “All three nominees have battled against the Renewable Fuel Standard and other policies that benefit biofuel production.”