A study released Wednesday by the U.S. Dairy Export Council projects new trade agreements between Japan and other countries will put U.S. dairy exports at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in lost sales of $5.4 billion over 21 years. The Japanese dairy market, the fourth-largest export destination for U.S. dairy exports, is expected to continue to grow in years to come, but new trade agreements between Japan and Australia, New Zealand and the European Union will give the advantage to competitors, according to the study conducted by Tokyo-based Meros Consulting.
A record number of women now lead state agriculture departments across the country, a leadership wave that reflects the industry's growing gender diversity. A total of 13 women have either been elected or appointed to head state agriculture departments, surpassing the prior record of ten women holding top ag offices, according to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. And that number could increase, as the top state agriculture position remains open in five states, NASDA officials said.“As we broaden the diversity of our members, we broaden our perspectives and our ability to lead on ag policy,” said Barbara Glenn, chief executive officer of NASDA.Having more women in leadership positions in state agriculture could mean governments will be more likely to consider emerging issues such as programs to expand opportunities for the next generation of farmers in rural communities, she said.
A legal challenge to the use of millions of dollars paid by Smithfield Foods Inc. to North Carolina is heading for the state Supreme Court. The seven-member panel agreed to hear appeals in a lawsuit questioning whether money the processor paid annually under a 2000 agreement with the state should have been applied to state education initiatives.The conservative public policy organization Civitas Institute won a challenge to the use of the funds in a state appellate court in September 2018. The Raleigh, N.C.-based organization argued that the state constitution could allow the $2 million Smithfield paid each year to go toward schools instead of being used to address environmental issues at hog farms across the state.
Since the end of the Great Recession in 2010, both Arkansas’ and the national economy have grown; however, the state’s rural areas have “grown only slightly since 2010 and have not even come back to pre-recession levels,” according to Wayne Miller, an author of the “2019 Rural Profile of Arkansas.”
A ‘speed gene’ can be used to identify whether racehorses are better suited to short, middle or long distance races.The effects of the gene were tested by matching it to the race records of more than 1,700 thoroughbred horses in Britain and Ireland.Lead author of the study Professor Emmeline Hill, associate professor of Equine Science at UCD, said the research established a clear relationship between the speed gene and a horse’s career earnings by distance.
Canadians are invited to celebrate the food they love in celebration of the annual Canada’s Agricultural Day.This year, Feb. 12 marks the third annual celebration of the agriculture industry and all other industries that play a role in bringing food to tables across the country.It's the industry's biggest celebration of the year, said Debbie Bailey, manager of Agriculture More Than Ever, one of the driving forces behind Canada’s Agriculture Day.“Canada’s Agriculture Day showcases all the amazing things happening in agriculture and the entire food industry. The day is also about helping consumers see the connection between the food they eat and the people who produce it.”Conversations about food production will take place at hundreds of events across the country.
Suicide rates among farmers are alarmingly high. Much of it has to do with isolation and stress level. We spoke with Minnesota's Department of Agriculture's Mental Health Director who was here for the Local Foods Conference.He says farming is a job that includes one stressor after the next.For example, this year we saw a late planting season, and prices for crops being set lower than in the past few years. Then negotiations over a new farm bill and the trade conflict with China.He says because farming today includes these extra stressors, farmers, more than ever, have to focus on the things they can change, and not what they can't control.
Farmers are still monitoring the impact of Hurricane Michael on their livestock. There have been reports of unexpected animal deaths in areas impacted by the storm - including southeast Alabama, Georgia and Florida.veterinarians who serve the Wiregrass also reported receiving calls about animal loss since the storm.Dr. William Terry of Hartford Veterinary Services and Supply says he’s had about 20 producers contact him about their livestock getting ill - particularly their stocker cows.“It could be anything, that’s the thing. It’s not going to be one thing,” Syfrett said. “Some of this they’re not going to see the full effect until months to years down the road.”Ivey agrees the causes are varied. He says other possible reasons could be pneumonia from the cattle standing in wet, muddy rain soaked fields or eating bad hay.
The unlikely combination of freshwater fish and cannabis is producing outsized medical marijuana crops that Green Relief Inc aims to capitalize on, as the Canadian company plots a stock market listing and global expansion.In an underground southern Ontario facility surrounded by farmland, Green Relief operates a cutting-edge aquaponic farm, using filtered fish waste to fertilize cannabis plants, which in turn clean the water for the fish.The company says it is the world’s only licensed producer to grow medical marijuana this way, a pesticide-free process that took 2-1/2 years to fine tune. The only signs of this operation, which is built into a hill and insulated by some three feet of dirt and grass, is above-ground ventilation equipment sticking out of the ground.
While glyphosate has lower toxicity than many pesticides — it's rated zero risk for homeowner use — the news and social media are laden with its purported health risks to humans, especially cancer.But those claims are out of step with scientific risk assessments related to exposure, Ronda Hirnyck, University of Idaho pesticide coordinator, said during a pesticide seminar at this year’s Agri-Action.Part of the issue with glyphosate or Roundup —a Monsanto product used to treat weeds in some GMO crops — is that everybody’s heard about it. And there are a lot of people who don’t like GMOs or Monsanto, she said.Glyphosate binds tightly to soil, and it’s not volatile in the environment. It doesn’t percolate soil to get into groundwater. It inhibits an enzyme that builds proteins a plant needs, and animals and humans don’t produce that enzyme, she said.Studies have shown there’s little to no absorption through the skin, no inhalation risk and no neurotoxicity, she said.Studies in animals and extrapolated to humans show very, very low toxicity to either, she said. The level of acute oral toxicity in mice is 10,000 parts per million. In rabbits, the only animal to show any reaction, that level was 2,000 ppm, she said.