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Agriculture News

Potentially tainted rabbit feed prompts feed investigation

Idaho State Journal | Posted on November 2, 2016

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is cautioning commercial and backyard rabbit producers to refrain from feeding their animals feed manufactured by Cache Commodities of Ogden, sold under the brand name “Commercial Rabbit”, until sampling and testing is complete. If tainted feed is found, contaminated lot numbers will be confirmed and published by the department. More than 500 commercially grown rabbits in Utah which consumed the product have died since May. Consumers are strongly advised not to eat rabbits which may have consumed this feed product until testing is complete and reporting is made public. Producers with animals that have passed away are advised to bury or incinerate the rabbits to prevent predation by birds and other animals which could become exposed.

Cuomo: proposed Canadian milk rules could hurt NY exports

Times Herald Record | Posted on November 2, 2016

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about possible regulations on milk that Cuomo says could devastate the state's dairy export industry.  The Democratic governor said Monday that if the rules proposed in Canada take effect it could amount to a $50 million market loss for New York's dairy industry. Cuomo's office says the proposal would restrict imports of ultra-filtered milk from New York state. Ultra-filtered milk is the type of milk used in the production of cheese and yogurt.Canada is New York's largest international export market, and dairy products are the state's largest agricultural industry. Cuomo's office says state officials have been working for months on a possible resolution that could satisfy both New York and Canada.

ADM to build new animal feed facility in Illinois

Watt Ag Net | Posted on November 2, 2016

ADM is working with local permitting authorities and plans to begin construction in the near future, with a targeted completion date of mid-2018. The current Quincy facility will remain operational during construction.

Worker Awarded $700K Following Collapse In Field

Growing Produce | Posted on November 2, 2016

A Maine judge awarded a Machias, ME, man close to $730,000 in damages for injuries he sustained following a heat stroke collapse. Michael Lund sued Millard A. Whitey & Sons in 2015, claiming the berry farm did not prepare him for the burning of a field, work he says he had never done before. Lund allegedly became disoriented during the second burn of the afternoon of March 22, 2012 and collapsed. In a jury-waved trial in September, Superior Court Justice William Anderson found evidence that Millard A. Whitney & Sons did not educate workers to recognize the signs and dangers of heat stroke. Anderson also said Lund did nothing to contribute to his own injuries

Cash Rents Still Went Up in 13 States This Year

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on November 2, 2016

Rents did drop between six and seven percent in some states, but in others the rates were five percent higher. Thirteen states saw higher cash rates this year, including Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, South Carolina and Mississippi.

Hakim’s Effort to Skewer Biotech Crops in Sunday's NY Times

OFW Law | Posted on November 2, 2016

Danny Hakim’s attempt to skewer biotech crops in his recent article on the front page Sunday’s New York Times (Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops) is skewed from beginning to end.  His insight – what he says the debate has missed – is that genetic modification has not accelerated increases in crop yields.  Well – duh! – they weren’t meant to.  The two major modifications in widespread use today are resistance to certain types of pests and tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate.  These biotech traits were designed to be advantageous to farmers by decreasing their input costs through reduced use of insecticides, and reduced necessity for weed control.  So citing yield data is simply disingenuous. It’s kind of like accusing the body shop that just fixed your dented car door of not making your engine run better.Indeed, he goes on to say the promise of genetic modification was that herbicide-tolerant and pest-resistant crops “…would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.” Hmm…this might actually be true, although these modifications would not be expected to directly impact the rate of increase in crop yields. "Instead of higher yields, herbicide-tolerant GM crops have contributed to reductions in herbicide costs, labor time, machinery time, and fuel use. Thus, herbicide-tolerant crops have also helped to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production.”

The Humane Society's Descent Into Abolitionist Veganism

Weekly Standard | Posted on November 2, 2016

The Humane Society of the United States raises gobs of money (annual budgets over $100 million) by portraying itself as an animal rescue and care organization—check out its tear jerk ads—when that is just a tiny part of its work. In truth, HSUS has become a radical organization with an agenda focused on opposing traditional agriculture and banning meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and other animal products. Its leadership is a rogue's gallery of extremists with histories of making outlandish statements, such as eating meat is "murder" and farming is a Holocaust. HSUS sought to moderate its image by establishing state agriculture councils that ostensibly support farmers and ranchers who give "proper care to their animals." HSUS says it helps "connect these farms to the market." But according to ag council members, HSUS did nothing to help them.  HSUS's most prominent ag council member was, until recently, Kevin Fulton, who runs an organic grazing operation in Nebraska. Fulton is truly committed to the humane treatment of farm animals, which is what attracted him to HSUS. At first, Fulton says, HSUS embraced him and the other ag council farmers. He had a "seat at the table" and used it to influence policy. He spoke freely at HSUS events and brought balance to organization.

Farmers leave HSUS ag councils, say they were 'window dressing'

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on November 2, 2016

When the Humane Society of the United States announced in May it was forming a National Agriculture Advisory Council, after having formed 11 at the state level, the Animal Agriculture Alliance sounded a warning: beware.  “While today HSUS may be acting like the ally of the producers on this council, the tides will no doubt turn as the organization moves on to target other production methods — a lesson some brands have learned in trying to appease it,” warned Animal Agriculture Alliance President and CEO Kay Johnson Smith

AVMA has variety of resources for food animal production

AVMA | Posted on November 1, 2016

Access to a variety of resources that can help you make a positive difference in the lives of animals that are used for food and fiber.

For animal ag, cheap grain is good, but might not be enough

Meatingplace (registration required) | Posted on November 1, 2016

The monthly average price of corn received by U.S. producers has been less than $4 per bushel for 27 consecutive months and prices below $4 are expected to persist well into 2017, writes University of Illinois professor emeritus Darrel Good. Expected larger South American corn supplies on the world market next year would contribute to keeping U.S. corn prices down. Brazil production is expected to rebound from last year’s drought and Argentina is expected to expand corn area due to reduced export taxes. Meanwhile, U.S. farmers are just finishing harvesting a large corn crop. This is a bit of good news for livestock producers and vertically integrated processors, particularly since the prices they are receiving for the livestock they sell and the meat they produce have also declined.