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Don't count on feds right after hurricane, FEMA chief tells Florida leaders

Orlando Sentinel | Posted on May 24, 2018 in Federal, Rural News

FEMA had a warning for local governments at the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes: Don’t count on Uncle Sam to be there immediately after the next natural disaster. “If you’re waiting on FEMA to run your commodities, that’s not the solution,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. “I can’t guarantee that we can be right on time to backfill everything you need.”

KY House members ignore party lines, defeat raw milk measure

Food Safety News | Posted on May 24, 2018 in Agriculture, Food News

A representative from Kentucky said it was about consumers’ food choices. A coalition of food safety groups said it was a threat to public health — particularly children. The U.S. House just said no. With a vote of 331-79, legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to crush an amendment to the farm bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, said his proposed legislation would protect farmers from “federal interference” while respecting state laws.

Producers Urged to Plan for Possible Drought-Driven Culling

DTN | Posted on May 24, 2018 in Agriculture News

It may be time to cut cattle stocking rates by as much as 10% in some parts of the Northern Plains. That news comes as drought conditions that began last year there continue, and many producers are warned to expect reductions in forage production on pasture and rangeland going forward."Last year, some producers experienced as much as a 75 percent reduction in forage production on pasture, range and hayland due to the drought," said Kevin Sedivec, North Dakota State University Extension rangeland management specialist.In many areas, pasture and rangeland received excess grazing pressure.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Tyson gets Iowa’s help for plant expansion

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on May 24, 2018

Tyson Fresh Meats will receive nearly $675,000 in Iowa state tax credits to help the company upgrade its pork plant in Perry, Iowa. The Tyson Foods subsidiary plans to construct a new chilling system to improve product quality and efficiencies at the Perry facility, the Iowa Economic Development Authority said in a post on its website.  The $43.7 million project won’t add jobs there but will require additional training for existing employees.

Oregon lawmakers mull preventing ‘too big to fail’ livestock operations

Capital Press | Posted on May 22, 2018

he regulatory problems facing a controversial Oregon dairy have raised questions among lawmakers about avoiding “too big to fail” livestock operations in the future.

MN Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes bill that gave Enbridge's new pipeline fast-track approval

Minnesota Star Tribune | Posted on May 22, 2018

As expected, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed legislation that would have allowed Enbridge to build a controversial new oil pipeline without getting regulatory approval.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants to crack down on phosphorus runoff that feeds Lake Erie algal blooms

Cleveland.com | Posted on May 17, 2018

Gov. John Kasich said he plans to issue an executive order if state lawmakers won't limit fertilizer use in certain parts of the state that contribute to problematic phosphorus and nitrate runoff in Lake Erie. The Ohio General Assembly in 2015 restricted manure and fertilizer application on snow-covered or wet ground in the western basin of Lake Erie with exceptions such as injecting it into the ground or applying it on a cover crop. Another law required large farm owners to obtain a certification in properly applying fertilizer.

NH:3 contentious renewable energy bills head to governor’s desk

New Hampshire Business Review | Posted on May 16, 2018

New Hampshire’s renewable industry will get a boost – though at a possible cost to ratepayers – if three bills passed last week by lawmakers are signed into law by Gov. Chris Sununu. Senate Bill 446 is perhaps the most far-reaching, increasing fivefold the size of projects that would qualify for net metering.

Agriculture News

KY House members ignore party lines, defeat raw milk measure

Food Safety News | Posted on May 24, 2018

A representative from Kentucky said it was about consumers’ food choices. A coalition of food safety groups said it was a threat to public health — particularly children. The U.S. House just said no. With a vote of 331-79, legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to crush an amendment to the farm bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, said his proposed legislation would protect farmers from “federal interference” while respecting state laws.

Producers Urged to Plan for Possible Drought-Driven Culling

DTN | Posted on May 24, 2018

It may be time to cut cattle stocking rates by as much as 10% in some parts of the Northern Plains. That news comes as drought conditions that began last year there continue, and many producers are warned to expect reductions in forage production on pasture and rangeland going forward."Last year, some producers experienced as much as a 75 percent reduction in forage production on pasture, range and hayland due to the drought," said Kevin Sedivec, North Dakota State University Extension rangeland management specialist.In many areas, pasture and rangeland received excess grazing pressure.

State Import Rules Guide For Livestock

DTN | Posted on May 24, 2018

States' livestock rules to protect against disease can vary widely and are based on the unique needs of that industry and the people there. Identification is an especially challenging issue because we have no mandatory national system. (By the way, that fact scares the willies out of me when I think about some sort of foreign disease outbreak.

Scalise Announces Plan for Immigration, Farm Bill Votes Third Week of June

Roll Call | Posted on May 24, 2018

The farm bill, which failed on the House floor Friday, will get a second vote June 22 after a vote on a conservative immigration bill earlier that week, House Majority Whip Steve Scalisesaid Monday. The immigration bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas that leaders have scheduled a vote on includes border wall funding, security and enforcement provisions, cuts to legal immigration and a process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients to obtain three-year renewals of their work permits.

With defeat of Farm Bill amendment, Minnesota’s powerful sugar lobby notches another win

The Minnesota Post | Posted on May 24, 2018

Last week, as the U.S. House considered its twice-a-decade Farm Bill, Minnesota’s sugar growers got the challenge they had been expecting for years: an amendment, filed to the massive nutrition and agriculture bill, that would “reform” and “modernize” the federal sugar subsidy program.

Federal News

Don't count on feds right after hurricane, FEMA chief tells Florida leaders

Orlando Sentinel | Posted on May 24, 2018

FEMA had a warning for local governments at the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes: Don’t count on Uncle Sam to be there immediately after the next natural disaster. “If you’re waiting on FEMA to run your commodities, that’s not the solution,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. “I can’t guarantee that we can be right on time to backfill everything you need.”

Scalise Announces Plan for Immigration, Farm Bill Votes Third Week of June

Roll Call | Posted on May 24, 2018

The farm bill, which failed on the House floor Friday, will get a second vote June 22 after a vote on a conservative immigration bill earlier that week, House Majority Whip Steve Scalisesaid Monday. The immigration bill by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas that leaders have scheduled a vote on includes border wall funding, security and enforcement provisions, cuts to legal immigration and a process for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients to obtain three-year renewals of their work permits.

Amid ethics scrutiny, EPA’s Pruitt also finds his regulatory rollbacks hitting bumps

The Washington Post | Posted on May 24, 2018

In March, as part of Scott Pruitt’s aggressive campaign to roll back federal regulations, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed relaxing standards for storing potentially toxic waste produced by coal-burning power plants. EPA officials cited a study indicating that forcing utilities to get rid of unlined coal ash ponds too quickly could strain the electrical grid in several regions of the country.But when environmental advocates scrutinized the specifics, they discovered a problem: The evidence cited was not established scientific research.

Five years after West Fertilizer explosion, EPA rolls back chemical safety reforms

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Five-years-after-West-Fertilizer-explosion-EPA-12931424.php?utm_source=Daily+Harvest+2018&utm_campaign=e881c5df62-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_05_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6978e27d37-e881c5df62-48780033 | Posted on May 24, 2018

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected next month to roll back chemical plant safety reforms that the Obama administration proposed after 15 people died in a fertilizer plant explosion in West.

An Immigration Debate Distinct From Economic Realities

Wall Street Journal | Posted on May 24, 2018

There is a good case that America’s economy has never needed immigrant labor more than it does now. The American birthrate has slowed dramatically, with the number of babies born in the U.S. last year hitting a 30-year low. At the same time, Alaska fisheries, New Hampshire restaurants and Maryland crab processors all say they are critically short of workers. Farmers say they need thousands more workers, and some production is moving overseas for lack of labor. There are 6.6 million job openings in the U.S., which means that, for the first time in history.

Rural News

Don't count on feds right after hurricane, FEMA chief tells Florida leaders

Orlando Sentinel | Posted on May 24, 2018

FEMA had a warning for local governments at the annual Governor’s Conference on Hurricanes: Don’t count on Uncle Sam to be there immediately after the next natural disaster. “If you’re waiting on FEMA to run your commodities, that’s not the solution,” FEMA Administrator Brock Long said Wednesday. “I can’t guarantee that we can be right on time to backfill everything you need.”

An Immigration Debate Distinct From Economic Realities

Wall Street Journal | Posted on May 24, 2018

There is a good case that America’s economy has never needed immigrant labor more than it does now. The American birthrate has slowed dramatically, with the number of babies born in the U.S. last year hitting a 30-year low. At the same time, Alaska fisheries, New Hampshire restaurants and Maryland crab processors all say they are critically short of workers. Farmers say they need thousands more workers, and some production is moving overseas for lack of labor. There are 6.6 million job openings in the U.S., which means that, for the first time in history.

Americans in rural areas more likely to die by suicide

CDC | Posted on May 16, 2018

ural counties consistently had higher suicide rates than metropolitan counties from 2001-2015, according to data released today in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.  Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. There were more than half a million suicides during the 2001–2015 study period.“While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2015.

American Airlines bans emotional support amphibians, ferrets, goats and more

Chicago Tribune | Posted on May 16, 2018

First United Airlines barred an emotional support peacock from boarding. Now American Airlines is telling passengers some of their service and emotional support animals — including goats, hedgehogs and tusked creatures — can’t fly. The carrier is joining rival airlines in tightening rules for passengers flying with emotional support animals, expanding the list of animals that can’t fly in addition to requiring customers vouch for their animal’s ability to behave.

Connecticut environment groups file federal lawsuit against state

Connecticut Post | Posted on May 16, 2018

Several Connecticut environment groups and companies are taking the state to federal court over the legislature’s decision to remove money from state energy funds in the two-year budget passed in October. The Connecticut Fund for the Environment and 11 other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Tuesday in order to stop the $165 million sweep.Using the funding for other than its intended purpose is a breach of the contracts clause of the United States Constitution, the plaintiffs argue.

Energy News

property owners Biofuel policy uncertainties leave biotech industry waiting for stability

InForum | Posted on May 24, 2018

Ag technology promoters are pedaling hard for biofuels-friendly policies in Washington, D.C., to make life livable for cash-strapped farmers supplying markets that didn't exist 30 years ago.Erick Lutt, director of industrial and environmental policy for Biotechnology Innovation Organization, speaking at the 2018 Bio Industry Summit on the North Dakota State University campus in Fargo on May 15, said biofuels promoters are working to monitor and address mixed messages from the administration.

MN Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes bill that gave Enbridge's new pipeline fast-track approval

Minnesota Star Tribune | Posted on May 22, 2018

As expected, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed legislation that would have allowed Enbridge to build a controversial new oil pipeline without getting regulatory approval.

Americans want more clean energy. Here's what they're actually willing to do to get it

CNBC | Posted on May 17, 2018

Consumers are growing more concerned about climate change and their carbon footprint, according to an annual survey from Deloitte. The gap between environmental concern and consumer action is poised to shrink as tech-minded millennials make green choices in their daily lives. Interest is growing in home battery systems paired with solar panels and time-of-use rates, but privacy concerns could hold back adoption of smart home devices.

Will Battle Between 'Big Corn' And 'Big Oil' Stall Next Generation Biofuels?

Investors Business Daily | Posted on May 17, 2018

Currently, almost every gallon of gasoline contains 10% ethanol made from corn and 90% petroleum gasoline refined from crude oil as a result of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. (RFS). However, declining gasoline use is intensifying the existing fight between big oil companies and the corn ethanol industry (or Big Corn) over how much of the shrinking transportation fuel pie each gets. The most immediate impact of the RFS wars is to focus attention on corn ethanol and petroleum gasoline at the detriment of second-generation biofuels.

Mountain Valley Pipeline cited for environmental violations

Miami Herald | Posted on May 17, 2018

The Mountain Valley Pipeline project has been cited for failing to control erosion at two work sites just two months after construction started on the more than 300-mile (483-kilometer) pipeline through Virginia and West Virginia. The Roanoke Times reported Wednesday that an inspection found flaws in erosion and sediment control measures last month at two sites in Wetzel County.

Food News

KY House members ignore party lines, defeat raw milk measure

Food Safety News | Posted on May 24, 2018

A representative from Kentucky said it was about consumers’ food choices. A coalition of food safety groups said it was a threat to public health — particularly children. The U.S. House just said no. With a vote of 331-79, legislators from both sides of the aisle joined to crush an amendment to the farm bill that would have allowed the interstate sale of unpasteurized raw milk. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, said his proposed legislation would protect farmers from “federal interference” while respecting state laws.

The line between food and medicine is blurrier than ever — and the FDA needs to step up its game

The Verge | Posted on May 17, 2018

Is tea medicine? What about special Collagen Beautèa that promises to support your bones? The Wall Street Journal reported on the growing popularity of foods and beverages enhanced with collagen, an ingredient used in wrinkle cream that hasn’t really been proven to be helpful when you eat it. The line between “food” and “medicine” has always been blurry, and, traditionally, the US Food and Drug Administration only regulates the latter.

Organic food fans unlikely to be swayed by negative news

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on May 16, 2018

A recent report raising questions about the quality and safety of organic foods is unlikely to change the buying habits of consumers of such products, according to research from NPD Group. The market information company found that organic food lovers strongly believe in their nutritional knowledge and healthy lifestyle and are therefore unlikely to switch to all-natural or commercially grown foods even when concerns about pesticide levels, for example, are raised in the media.

Dark chocolate consumption reduces stress and inflammation

Science Daily | Posted on May 10, 2018

New research shows there might be health benefits to eating certain types of dark chocolate. Findings from two studies being presented today at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego show that consuming dark chocolate that has a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao, 30% organic cane sugar) has positive effects on stress levels, inflammation, mood, memory and immunity.

F.D.A. orders first-ever mandatory recall

Food Business News | Posted on May 10, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the first time, has ordered a mandatory recall of food products under the authority conferred on the agency by the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010. The F.D.A. on April 3 issued a mandatory recall order for all regulated products containing powered kratom manufactured, processed, packed or held by Triangle Pharmanaturals L.L.C., Las Vegas, after several were found to contain Salmonella. The ingredient primarily is used in dietary supplements. The F.D.A.