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A resource guide:survey of eminent domain law

Texas A&M | Posted on April 25, 2017 in News

This is a law and policy resource guide on eminent domain law.

Slower-growing broiler advocates intensify pressure

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 25, 2017 in Agriculture News

Make no mistake about it: Animal rights groups are intensifying their push to get every major purchaser of chicken to source only slower-growing broiler breeds that are raised according to Global Animal Partnership (GAP) standards.

Commerce Department Investigating Argentina and Indonesia Biodiesel Imports

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on April 25, 2017 in Energy News

The U.S. Commerce Department has launched an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation aimed at biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The investigation is in response to a complaint filed by the biodiesel industry in the United States.

SARL Members and Alumni News

TN Broadband And Accessibility Act Sent To Governor's Desk

Newschannel 5 | Posted on April 24, 2017

The House of Representatives passed the Governor's Tennessee Broadband and Accessibility Act in a 93-4 vote, sending it to Governor Haslam's desk for signature.  The bill aims to increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens. Tennessee currently ranks 29th in the U.S. for broadband access, with 34 percent of rural Tennessee residents lacking access at recognized minimum standards.The Senate passed the legislation 31-0 on April 3.

Oregon water rights fee wins committee approval

Capital Press | Posted on April 24, 2017

A proposal to impose a new annual fee on all water rights in Oregon has passed a key legislative committee but the amount is no longer specified. House Bill 2706 originally sought a $100 yearly fee for every water right, capped at $1,000 for individual irrigators and $2,500 for municipal governments.The bill is intended to pay for water management conducted by the Oregon Water Resources Department, but opponents say it unfairly targets irrigators who are already under financial strain.Rep.

Use of Kaput Hog Bait Making Cautious Progress in Louisiana

The Voice of Louisiana | Posted on April 19, 2017

With just three meetings under its belt, the Feral Hog Task Force at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is rooting around for a solution to a growing problem.

Oklahoma to end tax credit that propelled wind production

The State | Posted on April 19, 2017

A state tax credit that helped propel Oklahoma to third in the nation in its capacity to generate electricity from wind is coming to an end, but it will be years before state coffers see results of the change. Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed legislation that rolls back a 10-year tax credit for electricity generated by zero-emission facilities that was launched in 2003.Under the measure, zero-emission facilities must be operating by July 1 this year to qualify for the credit, instead of Jan. 1, 2021.

Montana:Coal cleanup, oil and gas leases and raw milk debated as Legislature nears completion

Great Falls Tribune | Posted on April 19, 2017

A Montana legislative committee has tabled a lawmaker’s attempt to clarify how private land is leased to oil companies. Speaker of the House Austin Knudsen, is the sponsor of House Bill 384, which would have revised language used on oil and gas leases to inform landowners of the associated costs of oil extraction from their land. Knudsen said leases tell landowners they will receive royalties from wells on their land. However, he said the oil industry tends to deduct transportation and operating costs from that royalty. That information isn’t generally on the lease.

Agriculture News

Slower-growing broiler advocates intensify pressure

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 25, 2017

Make no mistake about it: Animal rights groups are intensifying their push to get every major purchaser of chicken to source only slower-growing broiler breeds that are raised according to Global Animal Partnership (GAP) standards.

Survey Shows Farmers Concerns

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on April 25, 2017

A new Voice of the Farmer Report examines the state of modern day farming through a combination of interviews with farmers and analysis of millions of acres of real farm yield as well as thousands of farmer seed and chemical invoices and price records. The survey finds issues including farm profits, industry consolidation, farm consolidation, and health care, along with technology needs, are all top-of-mind for farmers and ranchers.

A new CRISPR breakthrough could lead to simpler, cheaper disease diagnosis

Washington Post | Posted on April 24, 2017

The controversial laboratory tool known as CRISPR may have found a whole new world to conquer. Already the favored method of editing genes, CRISPR could soon become a low-cost diagnostic tool that could be used practically anywhere to determine if someone has an infectious disease such as Zika or dengue.  In essence they have taken the virus-recognition properties of the bacterial CRISPR system and turned it into a technique for telling if someone's blood, urine, saliva or other bodily fluid contains genetic markers of a pathogen.

Animals in medicine cared for like the heroes they are

Lexington Herald Leader | Posted on April 24, 2017

The animal research industry has a history of silence that we are beginning to understand must be broken. The public doesn’t have the information needed to understand what happens in our facilities. They’ve been inundated by propaganda that, at best, misrepresents us and at worst, spreads hate and fear. The public is almost exclusively exposed to this nearly always false, fantastical, fanatical misleading information.

Judge slams fruit grower over 'bad faith' bargaining with farmworkers

The Los Angeles Times | Posted on April 19, 2017

The state’s largest grower of peaches and other fruit bargained in bad faith with the United Farm Workers of America and wrongly tried to exclude as many as 1,500 employees from a collective bargaining agreement, a judge has ruled. The decision gives a strong boost to the UFW’s claim to represent as many as 6,500 workers at Gerawan Farming Inc., a 12,000-acre farm and packing operation in the San Joaquin Valley that has been the focal point of one of the longest-running and most acrimonious labor dispute in decades.

Federal News

No vote on hydroponics from USDA organic board

The Packer | Posted on April 24, 2017

When the National Organics Standards Board delayed a vote in November on whether produce grown on hydroponic and similar systems could be organic, members wanted to step back and gather more information on the issue. Companies marketing organic greenhouse bell peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables grown on hydro- and aquaponic systems might have to wait another year before the issue is decided. The NOSB’s three-day spring meeting in Denver ended April 21, with no formal vote or action taken in regard to hydroponic and container growing, and it is unlikely there will be a vote in 2017.

Air emissions exemption for farms overturned

Capital Press | Posted on April 23, 2017

A rule exempting livestock farms from reporting certain air pollutant emissions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been overturned by a federal appeals court. However, the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.

Census of Agriculture Countdown Begins

USDA | Posted on April 19, 2017

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them.The Census of Agriculture highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics.

Trump is wrong when he says dairy practices unfair

ABC News | Posted on April 19, 2017

Canada's ambassador to Washington said Tuesday night that President Donald Trump is wrong when he says Canada's trade practices in the dairy industry are "very unfair." Ambassador David MacNaughton said in a letter to the governors of Wisconsin and New York that Canada is aware of their letter to Trump asking him to address Canadian dairy practices."Canada does not accept the contention that Canada's dairy policies are the cause of financial loss for dairy farmers in the United States," MacNaughton said. He said the facts don't bear that out and attached a U.S.

Trump vows to back U.S. dairy farmers in Canada trade spat

Reuters | Posted on April 19, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump promised on Tuesday to defend American dairy farmers who have been hurt by Canada’s protectionist trade practices, during a visit to the cheese-making state of Wisconsin. Canada's dairy sector is protected by high tariffs on imported products and controls on domestic production as a means of supporting prices that farmers receive. It is frequently criticized by other dairy-producing countries."We're also going to stand up for our dairy farmers," Trump said in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Rural News

4000 Snow Geese Deaths Due to Heavy Metals in Water in Montana Pit

Montana Standard | Posted on April 24, 2017

The estimated 3,000 to 4,000 snow geese that perished in December 2016 in the Berkeley Pit’s toxic water died of both heavy metals and sulfuric acid, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesperson Ryan Moehring. The necropsy report does not make the findings clear, stating only that lesions in the stomach, intestines, and throats were severe and “suggestive of chemical tissue damage induced by a corrosive substance.”Copper and zinc, both of which were found inside the birds’ stomachs, could have been the cause or a contributing factor in the lesions, according to the report.

McDonald's, fast-food chains find antibiotic-free beef, pork hard to deliver

Chicago Tribune | Posted on April 19, 2017

Consumers are demanding more antibiotic-free meat. At McDonald's, so is a group of nuns. The world's largest burger chain and its fast-food brethren have made commitments to remove antibiotics from chicken, but plans to curb the use of antibiotics in beef and pork have been far less common. It's a far more complex and expensive proposition, and fast-food chains are largely taking a wait-and-see approach before changing the way their burgers and bacon are made.

The impact of minimum wage increases in rural and urban Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Legislature | Posted on April 19, 2017

This research, conducted in 2016, estimated the effects of increasing the minimum wage in rural and urban Pennsylvania from $7.25 to either $9.00 or $10.10 per hour, assuming that such a change will be implemented in 2017. In terms of socio-demographic characteristics, there were many similarities between rural and urban minimum wage earners in Pennsylvania. They were mostly female, white, younger, never married, with a high school diploma or less, English speaking, driving to work, and commuting less than 15 minutes to work.

Rural population drops for 5th straight year

Daily Yonder | Posted on April 19, 2017

The Great Recession continues to reverberate in rural America and is the most likely cause of the slight decline in population from 2015 to 2016. But in other ways, rural counties appear to be headed back to “normal” population gains. All in all, it’s another wait-and-see year for rural population trends.  On one hand, the rural population decreased again. It’s a problematic trend, because it usually means fewer people working, fewer kids in school, fewer people shopping and doing the other things that contribute to the local economy.

New era of Western wildfire demands new ways of protecting people, ecosystems

Science Daily | Posted on April 19, 2017

Current wildfire policy can't adequately protect people, homes and ecosystems from the longer, hotter fire seasons climate change is causing, according to a new paper led by the University of Colorado Boulder. Efforts to extinguish every blaze and reduce the buildup of dead wood and forest undergrowth are becoming increasingly inadequate on their own. Instead, the authors -- a team of wildfire experts -- urge policymakers and communities to embrace policy reform that will promote adaptation to increasing wildfire and warming.

Energy News

Commerce Department Investigating Argentina and Indonesia Biodiesel Imports

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on April 25, 2017

The U.S. Commerce Department has launched an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation aimed at biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The investigation is in response to a complaint filed by the biodiesel industry in the United States.

Energy Dept. chief Perry says coal retirements threaten to destabilize the grid

Arstechnica | Posted on April 25, 2017

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Rick Perry ordered a review of electricity markets and reliability late last week, saying that "certain policies" have hindered the development and use of baseload energy sources like coal.

Federal utility CEO: Coal plants not reopening under Trump

Trib Live | Posted on April 24, 2017

The CEO of the nation's biggest public utility said Tuesday that the agency isn't going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry. Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said he thinks very little will actually change for the federal utility under Trump.TVA has said it's on track to cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Coal company plans huge solar farm on strip mine

Courier Journal | Posted on April 19, 2017

An Eastern Kentucky coal mining company plans to build what could become the state's largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine, promising jobs for displaced coal miners. The Berkeley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy are exploring what they're billing as the first large-scale solar project in Appalachia.

California utility launches first hybrid power systems

Napa Valley Register | Posted on April 19, 2017

A California utility has launched unique systems combining a hybrid battery and gas turbine to produce and store electricity for use during hot summer months and other times when power demand soars.The new Hybrid Electric Gas Turbines are the first of their kind in the world, officials with Southern California Edison and manufacturer General Electric said during an event Monday near Los Angeles.The new systems will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution by 60 percent and save millions of gallons of cooling water annually, Edison said.There were no numbers on how much consumers mi

Food News

The hot new trend in food is literal garbage

The Washington Post | Posted on April 19, 2017

Flour milled from discarded coffee fruit. Chips made from juice pulp. Vodka distilled from strawberries that nobody seems to want. At one point not so long ago, such waste-based products were novelties for the Whole Foods set. But in the past three years, there’s been an explosion in the number of start-ups making products from food waste, according to a new industry census by the nonprofit coalition ReFED.The report, which was released Tuesday and tracks a number of trends across the food-waste diversion industry, found that only 11 such companies existed in 2011.

Kerrygold Butter Maker Slaps Rival In Wisconsin with Trademark Lawsuit

Fortune | Posted on April 17, 2017

There's a butter war breaking out in America's dairy aisle. A lawsuit has surfaced after talks allegedly soured between Dublin-based co-operative Ornua, the owner of the popular Kerrygold brand, and Wisconsin-based Old World Creamery to develop an Irish-made butter that could be sold in Wisconsin.The case stems from a protectionist law in the state of Wisconsin that essentially bans all butters produced from outside of the United States. The decades-old law has required federal or state graders to sign off on butter brands sold within the state.

Dannon attacks ‘daisy-chained’ logic in all-natural lawsuit over GM feed and dairy products

Food Navigator  | Posted on April 17, 2017

Should brands making dairy products from cows that may have consumed GM feed be allowed to market their wares as ‘all natural’? Absolutely, insisted Dannon in court papers filed this week urging the judge to dismiss the “daisy-chained” logic of a false advertising lawsuit filed in New York.

Activist group sues Calif. schools for serving processed meats

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 14, 2017

A national physicians group filed a lawsuit Wednesday against two California school districts seeking to stop them from serving processed meats to students because of research linking the foods to colorectal cancer.   The nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said serving foods such as hot dogs, pepperoni and luncheon meat violates California’s Education Code, which mandates school lunches be of the “highest quality” and “greatest nutritional value possible.”

Sugar leader looks to spud industry’s example in facing critics

Capital Press | Posted on April 14, 2017

A dietitian who heads the Sugar Association says her experience in defending potatoes from critics’ attacks will come in handy in improving perceptions about sugar. As a former staff member with the consulting firm Food Minds, Gaine assisted the National Potato Council in reversing restrictions on potatoes in the national school lunch program and in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.