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Agriculture News

AABP Creates Position Statement on Raised-Without-Antibiotics Programs

Dairy Herd Management | Posted on March 30, 2018

Raised-without-antibiotics (RWA) programs for cattle production have become increasingly popular with consumers. However, when an animal in one of these programs needs antibiotic treatment for an illness or injury, they typically cannot stay in this type of marketing program. “As this segment of the cattle industry develops, producers and processors have looked to the bovine veterinary community for guidance on structuring these programs to both meet the needs of consumers as well as the cattle in our care,” says Dr. Brandon Treichler, chair of an American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) task force that addressed RWA programs from a cattle care standpoint.

A new Monsanto-backed company is on the verge of producing the first fruit made with CRISPR

Business Insider | Posted on March 30, 2018

In a move aimed at securing its future, Monsanto has invested $125 million in a gene-editing startup called Pairwise. The alliance could tee up Monsanto, long known for its controversial dealings with farmers and its role in popularizing genetically modified organisms, to introduce some of the first produce made using the blockbuster gene-editing tool Crispr.In a call with Business Insider, the company hinted that strawberries or another type of fruit would be among the first Crispr produce to hit grocery-store shelves — a development it expects within five to 10 year

US per capita egg consumption still rising as protein craze continues, says egg board

Food Navigator | Posted on March 30, 2018

While increasing numbers of food manufacturers are experimenting with alternatives to animal proteins, enthusiasm for all things plant based has not dampened the demand for eggs, with US per capita egg consumptionm rising again in 2017.

Lost Valley’s lender forcing sale of dairy’s herd

Capital Press | Posted on March 29, 2018

he owner of Lost Valley Farm, a controversial Eastern Oregon dairy that has drawn the ire of environmental groups and run afoul of state regulators, may soon be forced to sell off its entire herd. Greg te Velde, of Tipton, Calif., began operating the dairy near Boardman, Ore. in 2017, which was permitted for up to 30,000 cows — making it the second-largest dairy in the state, behind neighboring Threemile Canyon Farms.

Animals farmed: welcome to our series

The Guardian | Posted on March 29, 2018

There has been a revolution in the way we produce and consume meat and fish. Chicken, beef, pork or salmon were once rare Sunday-at-best luxuries. Now billions of people around the world can afford to eat fish and meat daily. Intensive farming has made this possible: the realisation that money could be saved – and prices driven down – by increasing the scale of production, and reducing exposure to what were once seen as essential components of farming, such as sunshine, quality of life for the animals, space and natural grazing. A new artificial lifecycle was introduced instead: electric lights to simulate day and night, heating systems to simulate seasons, selective breeding to speed up growth and fattening. Eggs are hatched on factory belts, chickens are kept in sheds and cages, pigs spend some of their lives in crates, cows are reared in barns. Some farmers stayed small – but not all could not match the cost savings of this model. Some got larger and larger. Farmers became business people. Business people bought out other farmers. In the process they made animal protein available to millions.

Kansas Passes Controversial Poultry Bill

US News and World Report | Posted on March 29, 2018

Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed into law a measure aimed at luring large-scale poultry processors to set up shop in Kansas.Colyer signed the bill on Tuesday. It passed in the Senate last month and in the House March 12, the Lawrence Journal-World reported .It greatly expands the number of chickens growers can house in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) before they would be required to obtain a state environmental permit.The Kansas Department of Agriculture and other agribusiness groups strongly supported the bill, arguing it would enable Kansas farmers to produce more "value-added" meat products for consumers.

As Wave Of Closures Continue, Iconic Charlotte Dairy Farm Auctions Cattle And Machinery

Vermont Public Radio | Posted on March 29, 2018

Dairy farms around Vermont are struggling amid low milk prices that are in some cases well below the cost of production. The result is that an increasing number of farms are starting to go out of business. Last week, the iconic Nordic Farms in Charlotte auctioned off its cows and machinery. The Agency of Agriculture says 12 farms have called it quits just since January and that leaves the state with 750 dairy farms down from 813 last March.

Minnesota is considering doubling its number of rural mental health counselors. To two.

Minnesota Post | Posted on March 29, 2018

Ted Matthews drove past acres of fields, racing to meet with a farmer who called threatening to kill himself. That’s when he got a call from another farmer in a different part of the state who was also threatening suicide. Since he couldn’t be in two places at once, he frantically got on his phone to try to find someone else who could help the second farmer.Matthews might have the toughest job in the state of Minnesota. As the lone rural mental health counselor for the entire state employed by the Department of Agriculture, he gets 15 calls on a slow day and as many as 40 calls on a busy day. “People constantly talk to me about suicide,” he said. He has worked alone for more than two decades, but there is now a proposal being considered by legislators this year to increase the number of people fielding calls from farmers and others in crisis by 100 percent — in other words, there would be a total of two full-time rural health counselors, including Matthews. It’s greatly needed, said Matthews and others who testified before the Minnesota House Agriculture Finance Committee.

The impact on Iowa of China's proposed tariff on pork

Iowa State Daily | Posted on March 29, 2018

China announced tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. products on Friday in response to President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese produced goods. There are 128 items on China’s proposed tariffs list including wine, steel and fruit. But most importantly for Iowa, pork is also on the list.Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the country. If these tariffs come into place, not only would agricultural trade decrease as a whole, but pork prices could also fall.China is the second largest market for United State’s agricultural exports. On an average year, around $20 billion of agricultural trade is done with China.“China is our second biggest pork market, so it’s a big deal,” said Dermot J. Hayes, Charles F. Curtiss distinguished professor in agriculture and life science and pioneer chair in agribusiness.Another issue the potential tariffs raise is that some of the pork China purchases, like the intestines, the head and the tails, are not as desired as much in the United States as they are there.

‘Get A Second or Third Job’ Is Not Sound Farm Policy

Farm Policy Facts | Posted on March 29, 2018

“Most U.S. farm households can’t solely rely on farm income, turning what was once a way of life into a part-time job,” the article explained, noting that 82% of U.S. farm household income is expected to come from off-farm work this year.That’s because current commodity prices are depressed and haven’t kept up with inflation over the long haul.  Compounding the problem are climbing input costs, the Journal wrote.   Chris Morrow was one of the farmers featured in the story. This 32-year-old Missourian “rises four mornings a week at 4:30 a.m. and drives an hour to his outside job at Herzog Railroad Services Inc., in Falls City, Neb.  He works a 10-hour shift inspecting inbound railcars in need of repairs.”After work, and on the weekends, Morrow tends 350 acres of corn and beans and manages a small cattle herd.  According to the article, Morrow cannot focus solely on his life’s calling because his farm netted just $14,000 last year. Put another way, farmers are already working two or three other jobs to help support their family farms so they don’t need a Farm Bill or crop insurance to help them manage the unique, high-stake risks of agriculture.What a load of manure.  “Get a second or third job” is not sound farm policy. Of course, most farm critics don’t need to get another job to survive.  Their deep-pocketed financers with anti-farm agendas take care of that.But maybe they need to spend a few hours a week working on a farm.  Then they’d see the financial pain rural America is facing right now and the real need for smart farm policies.