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Ernst stikes back at Trump advisor comment that trade losses are "rounding error"

Ernst Senate Website  | Posted on July 20, 2018 in Agriculture, Federal News

Even as the Trump administration’s trade war with China starts to bite farm country, producers aren’t getting a lot of sympathy from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.  Navarro, speaking from the White House lawn , said the trade losses due to China’s new tariffs amount to a “rounding error.” Some soybean growers already are expected to go out of business later this year due to the depressed prices that resulted from China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff.

Gov. Reynold signs executive order aiming to help rural Iowa communities

Siouxland Proud  | Posted on July 19, 2018 in Rural, SARL Members and Alumni News

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping to help rural areas of the state through an executive order.  Reynolds signed the order Wednesday that creates the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, according to a release. They say the initiative will identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes through a partnership with the Iowa Rural Development Council. with co-chairs Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Sandy Ehrig of the Iowa Rural Development Council.

Maine legislator badly burned by fire on farm

Central Maine | Posted on July 19, 2018 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Representative Craig Hickman reportedly was burned on his legs and chest during the Tuesday morning incident. A state representative from Winthrop was burned badly Tuesday morning while attempting to light a brush pile on fire but was expected to make a full recovery.

SARL Members and Alumni News

Gov. Reynold signs executive order aiming to help rural Iowa communities

Siouxland Proud  | Posted on July 19, 2018

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping to help rural areas of the state through an executive order.  Reynolds signed the order Wednesday that creates the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, according to a release. They say the initiative will identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes through a partnership with the Iowa Rural Development Council. with co-chairs Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Sandy Ehrig of the Iowa Rural Development Council.

Maine legislator badly burned by fire on farm

Central Maine | Posted on July 19, 2018

Representative Craig Hickman reportedly was burned on his legs and chest during the Tuesday morning incident. A state representative from Winthrop was burned badly Tuesday morning while attempting to light a brush pile on fire but was expected to make a full recovery.

Ohio Governor Kasich signs order to toughen control of fertilizer pollution

Toledo Blade | Posted on July 19, 2018

 Frustrated by lawmakers’ refusal to consider a bill to get tougher on sources of agricultural pollution feeding Lake Erie’s chronic toxic algae problem, Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday took matters into his own hands with an executive order. “This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and environmentally friendly way,” the Republican governor said.

Baltimore becomes first major city to remove sugary drinks from kids' menus

NBC News | Posted on July 19, 2018

Baltimore has become the first major city to prohibit restaurants from including sugary drinks on children's menus. The measure, which went into effect on Wednesday, is intended to promote healthy habits in young children and their families by making the default kids' menu options water, milk and 100 percent fruit juices.Parents will still be able to order sugary drinks, such as sodas, for their children.

BMW increasing production in China, raising prices on SC-made SUVs in response to tariffs

The Post and Courier | Posted on July 18, 2018

Automaker BMW says it will build more of its popular SUVs overseas to offset the higher cost of sending cars to China due to recently enacted tariffs. BMW also said it will raise the price of South Carolina-built vehicles sold in China to help offset that country's new 40 percent import tax on cars from the U.S., retaliation for higher tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by President Donald Trump.The dpa news agency reported that Munich-based BMW said Monday it is "not in a position to completely absorb the tariff increases."

Agriculture News

Ernst stikes back at Trump advisor comment that trade losses are "rounding error"

Ernst Senate Website  | Posted on July 20, 2018

Even as the Trump administration’s trade war with China starts to bite farm country, producers aren’t getting a lot of sympathy from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.  Navarro, speaking from the White House lawn , said the trade losses due to China’s new tariffs amount to a “rounding error.” Some soybean growers already are expected to go out of business later this year due to the depressed prices that resulted from China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff.

Ohio Governor Kasich signs order to toughen control of fertilizer pollution

Toledo Blade | Posted on July 19, 2018

 Frustrated by lawmakers’ refusal to consider a bill to get tougher on sources of agricultural pollution feeding Lake Erie’s chronic toxic algae problem, Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday took matters into his own hands with an executive order. “This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and environmentally friendly way,” the Republican governor said.

Is the "organic" seal worth it, given disputes on standards?

ABC News | Posted on July 19, 2018

Is paying more for organic milk, meat or a can of beans worth it? The "USDA Organic" label generally signifies a product is made with relatively minimal synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and that animals are raised according to certain guidelines. But disputes over the rules, and questions about adherence, may raise doubts about whether the price is justified.A federal audit in September found the U.S.

Impact of Free-range Poultry Production Systems--New CAST Issue Paper

Council for Agriculture Science and Technology | Posted on July 19, 2018

Despite the ever-increasing separation between farming and the general public, today’s consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes from and how it is produced. With regard to animal food products, animal welfare, food quality, and sustainability have become key issues of consumer concern resulting in increased pressure for farmers to transition from conventionally raised poultry to free-range poultry production.

Michigan Custom Machine Work Estimated for 2018 Available

Michigan State University | Posted on July 19, 2018

The Custom Machine and Work Rate Estimates for 2018 are detialed in this report.

Federal News

Ernst stikes back at Trump advisor comment that trade losses are "rounding error"

Ernst Senate Website  | Posted on July 20, 2018

Even as the Trump administration’s trade war with China starts to bite farm country, producers aren’t getting a lot of sympathy from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.  Navarro, speaking from the White House lawn , said the trade losses due to China’s new tariffs amount to a “rounding error.” Some soybean growers already are expected to go out of business later this year due to the depressed prices that resulted from China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff.

Money talks when trying to influence climate change legislation

Science Daily | Posted on July 19, 2018

Climate lobbying is big business. A new analysis shows that between 2000 and 2016, lobbyists spent more than two billion dollars on influencing relevant legislation in the US Congress. Unsurprisingly, sectors that could be negatively affected by bills limiting carbon emissions, such as the electrical utilities sector, fossil fuel companies and transportation corporations had the deepest pockets.

USDA responds to SNAP issues at farmers market, but does not clarify

Modern Farmer | Posted on July 19, 2018

After widespread outrage in the news and on social media, the USDA has responded to reports that SNAP will not be available to use at many farmers markets. use of SNAP benefits at farmers markets has been increasing more and more each year. But the system used to actually process the payments is supported by a middleman between the USDA and the markets. Until recently, that middleman was the Famers Market Coalition, but the USDA recently awarded the contract to a new middleman.

House sends farm bill to conference

The Progressive Farmer | Posted on July 19, 2018

The House on Wednesday passed by voice vote a motion to proceed to conference on the farm bill, which is numbered HR 2 and titled the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The House also passed a Democratic motion to instruct conferees to insist on 10-year permanent funding for an animal vaccine program. The House bill has permanent funding, but the Senate bill has only an authorization for appropriations.That recorded vote was 392 to 20.House leadership also named House conferees on the farm bill Wednesday afternoon. The Senate must now also proceed to conference and appoint conferees.

Determining tariff damage will be hard

Brownfield Ag News | Posted on July 17, 2018

How will the USDA estimate tariff damages to farmers? “We have analytical procedures that can give us some idea but it’s really going to be really hard,” says Carl Zulauf, Ohio State ag economist. US Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue continues to say there will be help for farmers hurt by the trade disruptions, “I’ve kind of set a deadline for myself, not for anyone else, as Labor Day.

Rural News

Gov. Reynold signs executive order aiming to help rural Iowa communities

Siouxland Proud  | Posted on July 19, 2018

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping to help rural areas of the state through an executive order.  Reynolds signed the order Wednesday that creates the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, according to a release. They say the initiative will identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes through a partnership with the Iowa Rural Development Council. with co-chairs Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Sandy Ehrig of the Iowa Rural Development Council.

Rural America is spending 40% more on energy bills

Ag Daily | Posted on July 19, 2018

Rural households across the United States spend a disproportionately high share of their income on energy bills — about 40 percent more than their metropolitan counterparts, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition. The problem is most glaring in the East and Southeast, and among low-income households across all regions.

All wildfires are not alike, but the U.S. is fighting them that way

Daily Yonder | Posted on July 19, 2018

In cities we know how to keep houses from burning. We have to relearn that in areas where human developments mingle with forests. It will need to be a local task, not just a federal one.  So far, the 2018 fire season has produced a handful of big fires in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado; conflagrations in Oklahoma and Kansas; and a fire bust in Alaska, along with garden-variety wildfires from Florida to Oregon. Some of those fires are in rural areas, some are in wildlands, and a few are in exurbs.

Two rural communities cross the political divide

Daily Yonder | Posted on July 19, 2018

When Massachusetts and Kentucky residents from politically polar-opposite regions met, it was “love at first sight.” Led by Paula Green, who has led “conflict transformation” efforts for decades in Bosnia, Rwanda and other trouble spots around the world, Hands Across the Hills has included more than a dozen hours of direct dialogue — last October in Leverett and then in April in Whitesburg, Ky.

United States Drought Monitor Shows Growing Drought

University of Nebraska | Posted on July 17, 2018

An active summer pattern continued over the central and northern Plains and into the upper Midwest, with several areas seeing well above normal precipitation associated with thunderstorms. Along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, precipitation was plentiful and widespread as ample moisture continued to be transported into the region. The precipitation along the Gulf also helped to keep temperatures 1-3 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year.

Energy News

Ethanol backers say waivers depressed ethanol use by 2 billion gallons

Radio Iowa | Posted on July 19, 2018

Ethanol advocates are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to raise the 2019 federal ethanol production mandate to make up for waivers granted this year. Scott Pruitt, the EPA Administrator who resigned earlier this month, issued waivers so some small refineries didn’t have to blend ethanol into gasoline. Ethanol advocates say more than two billion gallons of the corn-based fuel would have been added to gasoline if Pruitt hadn’t granted those waivers. Lamberty and others are lobbying the EPA to add onto the 2019 federal production guidelines to make up for the losses.

Rural America is spending 40% more on energy bills

Ag Daily | Posted on July 19, 2018

Rural households across the United States spend a disproportionately high share of their income on energy bills — about 40 percent more than their metropolitan counterparts, according to a new report released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) coalition. The problem is most glaring in the East and Southeast, and among low-income households across all regions.

Biofuel supporters call for EPA course correction

Feedstuffs | Posted on July 19, 2018

Amid Scott Pruitt's departure as administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, biofuel interests are ramping up their calls for a course correction at the agency as it looks to set upcoming blending levels. Amid Scott Pruitt's departure as administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency, biofuel interests are ramping up their calls for a course correction at the agency as it looks to set upcoming blending levels.

Minnesota Pipeline Replacement Threatens a Repeat of ‘Standing Rock’

Wall Street Journal | Posted on July 17, 2018

Weeks after Minnesota regulators approved the replacement of an oil pipeline that crosses the state, Native American and environmental groups are starting to oppose the project with a similar playbook to a failed effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

U.S. hits $1.1 billion Texas oil pipeline with steel tariff

Reuters | Posted on July 17, 2018

A $1.1 billion U.S. shale pipeline on Monday was denied an exclusion to the Trump administration’s tariff on imported steel, the first such ruling on a major energy project since the tariff went into effect. Pipeline operator Plains All American Pipeline LP’s request was denied because suitable product is available from domestic producers, the Commerce Department ruling said.The Trump administration this spring slapped a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum to safeguard U.S. jobs.

Food News

Baltimore becomes first major city to remove sugary drinks from kids' menus

NBC News | Posted on July 19, 2018

Baltimore has become the first major city to prohibit restaurants from including sugary drinks on children's menus. The measure, which went into effect on Wednesday, is intended to promote healthy habits in young children and their families by making the default kids' menu options water, milk and 100 percent fruit juices.Parents will still be able to order sugary drinks, such as sodas, for their children.

People on food stamps may no longer be able to shop at farmers’ markets

Market Watch | Posted on July 17, 2018

Squabbles over a government contract may prevent low-income families from having easy access to farm-fresh fruits and vegetables. At issue: The ability of low-income Americans on government assistance to use their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards to buy food at farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets have to be equipped to accept the EBT cards. If markets are not able to operate devices that can handle EBT payments, vendors must use manual paper vouchers instead. Congress has approved $4 million each year so the USDA can provide EBT equipment to markets and farmers, the USDA said.

‘We will not serve or pay for meat:’ WeWork takes the green workplace to a new level

The Washington Post | Posted on July 17, 2018

 WeWork is trying a new tactic in the push toward corporate sustainability by saying it was committed to being “a meat-free organization.” The global network of shared office spaces said in an email to employees last week that “moving forward, we will not serve or pay for meat at WeWork events and want to clarify that this includes poultry and pork, as well as red meat.” The company’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said the new policy was one way it could do more to become environmentally conscious.

How animal welfare claims fare in the grocery aisle

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on July 17, 2018

upermarket executives seeing strong sales of products with claims and certifications that indicate better animal welfare, and are motivated to provide them with precious shelf space. However, supermarket decision-makers largely do not understand the differences between animal welfare claims and animal welfare certifications, according to a study co-authored by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Technomic, summarizing the grocery retail landscape for products that bear animal welfare-related claims.

Is lab grown meat really meat?

Slate | Posted on July 17, 2018

After centuries of a veritable monopoly, meat might have finally met its match. The challenger arises not from veggie burgers or tofu or seitan, but instead from labs where animal cells are being cultured and grown up into slabs that mimic (or, depending on whom you ask, mirror) meat. It currently goes by many names—in-vitro meat, cultured meat, lab-grown meat, clean meat—and it might soon be vying for a spot in the cold case next to more traditionally made fare. To put it bluntly: the kind that comes from living animals, slaughtered for food. In February, the U.S.