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Agriculture News

Horse Industry Takes The Reins In Georgia’s Economy

WABE 90.1 | Posted on November 28, 2016

Georgia’s equine industry is anything but a pony show — it has a $2.5 billion annual impact on the state’s economy, according to the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine.  Further, horses are the No. 9 commodity in the state with a value of more than $333 million, or about $279.8 million more than those famous Georgia peaches. That’s according to the 2014 Farm Gate Value Reports from the University of Georgia. While more than $750 million is generated from the breeding and care of the 74,000 horses in Georgia today, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the state’s equine industry has two tales to tell. Some breeders and competitors say property taxes and land costs are causing them to move south of Atlanta.

Study says Maryland horse industry is rebounding, 'still healing'

Baltimore Sun | Posted on November 28, 2016

Maryland's horse industry hasn't recovered fully from years of decline but has regained its footing and is generating more than $1 billion a year — 23 percent more than in 2010, a study released Monday found.  The study, conducted by the Sage Policy Group, said the industry's nascent rebound appears to be accelerating.  "The last five years have represented a stark contrast from the prior three decades when Maryland's horse industry was in decline," said the study, paid for by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and a dozen other industry partners.  The study, released at Goucher College — which is building a new equestrian facility that soon will be the new home of the breeders association — quantified the extent of the industry's recovery and its ripple effect on the state's economy.

Canada bovine TB investigation expands: More than 35 Canadian livestock premises under quarantine

DTN | Posted on November 28, 2016

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced more than 35 premises in Alberta and Saskatchewan are under investigation and movement controls in connection to a bovine tuberculosis case from late September.  CFIA stated that, as of Nov. 23, there have been six confirmed cases of bovine TB, including the original cow from Alberta that was confirmed with the disease by USDA when the cow was slaughtered in the U.S. CFIA's has been investigating the case and others, and is working with provincial agriculture and health authorities.  "So far, all confirmed cases are from the one infected herd which is located on three premises. All adult animals from this herd have been tested and the removal and humane destruction of these animals is continuing," CFIA said in a press release. "There are currently over 35 premises under quarantine and movement controls: most of these are located in Alberta, with fewer than five located in Saskatchewan. These numbers will change as the investigation continues."  CFIA added that the strain of TB identified in the first confirmed case is closely related to a strain originating from cattle in Central Mexico in 1997.

Salting roads harms frog numbers by changing their sex

The Telegraph | Posted on November 24, 2016

Salting roads and pavements during winter damages frog populations by turning would-be females into males, a major new study warns.  Naturally occurring chemicals used in de-icing substances find their way into ponds, where the amphibians breed, and change the sex of young frogs during early development. Experts at Yale University found that gritting can reduce the number of female frogs by 10 per cent in a given area, as well as harming the quality of their eggs and size of their offspring.

Appeals court rejects six states' lawsuit against California egg law

Orange County Register | Posted on November 24, 2016

Six states lacked the legal right to challenge a California law that prohibits the sale off eggs from chickens that are not raised in accordance with strict space requirements, a federal appeals court said Thursday.  The states – Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa – failed to show how the law would affect them and not just individual egg farmers, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The court upheld a lower court decision that dismissed the lawsuit.

Animal rights advocates wrong on the use of antibiotics by agriculture community

The Hill | Posted on November 24, 2016

Animal agriculture – farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, feed mills and animal health companies – is dedicated to providing a safe and healthful food supply for everyone. That dedication starts on the farm with ensuring livestock and poultry are also healthy.  As part of that commitment, the animal agriculture community is currently working to implement significant changes in the way antibiotics are used.

Negative Cash Flows for One of Five Grain Farmers

Creighton University Economic Outlook | Posted on November 24, 2016

Survey Results at a Glance: • For a 14th straight month, the Rural Mainstreet Index fell below growth neutral. • Overall index slumps to lowest level since April 2009. • Bank CEOs project more than one in five farmers with negative 2016 cash flows. • More than one in four bank CEOs expect rising regulatory costs to be the biggest challenge to their bank operations over the next 5 years. • Gains reported for Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota while losses were recorded for Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Ohio Dept. of Ag announces 2017 funding for Agricultural Easement Program

Ohio's Country Journal | Posted on November 24, 2016

The Ohio Department of Agriculture announced that nine land trusts, four counties, one township and 11 Soil and Water Conservation Districts will receive funding to help preserve farmland across the state. These organizations will receive allocations from the Clean Ohio Fund to select, close and monitor easements under the Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program

Protein feed and bioplastic from farm biogas | Posted on November 24, 2016

VTT has developed a solution for converting even small sources of methane-rich biogas into raw materials for animal feed or bioplastic on farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. This emission-reducing solution is based on the ability of methanotrophic bacteria to grow on methane in gas fermentors. The methanotrophic bacteria and (depending on the growth conditions) cell mass may also contain polyhydroxybutyrate plastic (PHB) - a natural substance in the cells that enables them to store conserve energy. For example, PHB can be used as a raw material for biodegradable packaging material, instead of oil-based and non-biodegradable plastics such as polypropylene (PP). The cell mass may contain 50% half of the PHB, in which case the protein content is around 30%.

The Farmers We Forgot

The New York Times | Posted on November 23, 2016

transcripts show that farm policy hasn’t come up even once during a presidential debate for the past 16 years. For more than a hundred years before that, however, the hyperbolic praise of American farmers was a campaign mainstay. So much so that Charles Warren of Mutual News opened his moderation of a 1960 presidential debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon by stating, “It’s a fact, I think, that presidential candidates traditionally make promises to farmers.” He then queried the candidates, “Why this constant courting of the farmer?”  Well, it’s 2016, and the courtship is clearly over. How did we get from there to here? American farms are still hugely important. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the gross output of American farms is $393 billion. That’s more than eight times the figure for coal mining, an industry that held the spotlight several times during the presidential campaigns. The Farm Crisis of the early 1980s is considered to be the worst financial crash that the United States farming sector had experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s; it completed the boom-and-bust cycle that had begun with a steep rise in agricultural speculation during the early 1970s. Out of its aftermath emerged a new permanent reality that has changed the entire concept of farming in America: the end of the self-supporting family farm.