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Gulf Coast Oil Spill May Be Largest Since 2010 BP Disaster

Bloomberg | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Energy News

An oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last week may be the largest in the U.S. since the 2010 blowout at BP Plc’s Macondo well that sank the Deepwater Horizon rig and killed 11 people.  LLOG Exploration Co. reported 7,950 to 9,350 barrels of oil were released Oct. 11 to Oct. 12 from subsea infrastructure about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Venice, Louisiana


FPF Analysis: New USDA Net Farm Income Figures Not Exactly What They Seem

Farm Policy Facts | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal News

A new analysis by Farm Policy Facts reveals that the USDA’s projected Net Farm Income (NFI) increase is not exactly what it seems.In fact, according to our analysis, the major takeaway from the report should not be the increase projected for 2017, but the downward adjustment to the 2016 number.The ERS had projected 2016 NFI to be $68.3 billion, but the August 30 update reduced it by 10% to $61.5 billion.


GIPSA, tramps and thieves

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Federal News

At least it’s one less thing for processors to worry about. Scuttling the proposed GIPSA rules that would have shifted the balance of power between livestock producers and processors simplifies the regulatory landscape a little — a very little, considering issues such as the renegotiation of NAFTA continue to roil the waters.


Agribusinesses Concerned About Farm Labor Shortage

Aldrich Advisors | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture News

In our 2017 Agribusiness Wage + Land Rent Survey, farmers expressed their top concern about the future of their businesses: the uncertainty surrounding their labor supply. This year’s survey data showed that 41% of respondents had 25 or more employees during peak employment, down from 57% in the prior year. Forty-nine percent of respondents employed seasonal workers for 12 or more weeks, down from 52% the prior year. It was a tough year for business and a tough year for finding workers.This trend is nothing new. U.S.


Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America

Bloomberg | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Rural News

In the poorest towns, where even Wal-Mart failed, the little-box player is turning a profit.The Decatur store is one of 1,000 Dollar Generals opening this year as part of the $22 billion chain’s plan to expand rapidly in poor, rural communities where it has come to represent not decline but economic resurgence, or at least survival. The company’s aggressively plain yellow-and-black logo is becoming the small-town corollary to Starbucks Corp.’s two-tailed green mermaid.


Salvation through Fermentation

Wisconsin Academy | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture, Energy News

Producing economically viable biofuels from biomass other than corn, however, is more complicated. Many biofuels researchers, including those at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, are now focused on making biofuels from low-input crops such as switchgrass and poplar.


September Rural Mainstreet Index Reaches 2017 Low: More than Half of Bankers Restructured Farm Loans

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture News

Survey Results at a Glance: The overall index sank to itslowestlevelsinceDecember 2016,and remained below growth neutral. For the 46th straight month, average farmland prices declined across the 10 state region. For the 49th straight month, the agriculture equipment sales index fell below growth neutral. As a result of falling farm income, more than 51 percent of bank CEOs, reported restructuring farm loans, and approximately 18.6 percent indicated increasing collateral requirements. Bank CEOs reported only a 2.1 percent increase in farm loan defaults over the past year


September Rural Mainstreet Index Reaches 2017 Low: More than Half of Bankers Restructured Farm Loans

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture News

Survey Results at a Glance: The overall index sank to itslowestlevelsinceDecember 2016,and remained below growth neutral. For the 46th straight month, average farmland prices declined across the 10 state region. For the 49th straight month, the agriculture equipment sales index fell below growth neutral. As a result of falling farm income, more than 51 percent of bank CEOs, reported restructuring farm loans, and approximately 18.6 percent indicated increasing collateral requirements. Bank CEOs reported only a 2.1 percent increase in farm loan defaults over the past year


Wyoming wild horse roundup continues amid counting dispute

Minneapolis Star Tribune | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Rural News

 A roundup of wild horses continued Monday in the desert of southwestern Wyoming after a judge declined to stop it during a lawsuit over how the animals are counted.As of Sunday, U.S. Bureau of Land Management contract workers had rounded up 1,367 adult horses and 350 foals.The agency could reach its goal of capturing 1,560 adults plus the foals of captured mares this week, bureau spokeswoman Kristen Lenhardt said.The roundup is going on amid a dispute between horse advocates and federal officials over whether the foals should be included in the total count.U.S.


Nafta Talks Left Reeling After Aggressive U.S. Proposals Land

Bloomberg | Posted onOctober 19, 2017 in Agriculture, Federal News

U.S. negotiators in recent days put forth a string of bold proposals -- on auto rules of origin, a sunset clause, government procurement, and gutting dispute panels seen by the other nations as core to the pact. The moves were long-signaled, as was Canadian and Mexican opposition to them.  The proposals have spurred public warnings from prominent U.S.


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