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Agriculture News

Why animal rights is the next frontier for the left

The New Republic | Posted on April 4, 2019

As the left hardens its commitment to fighting climate change, social injustice, and rampant capitalism, the question of what to do about animals will become inescapable.


New strain of canine distemper virus arrives in North America

Cornell | Posted on April 4, 2019

A young dog imported from South Korea into western Canada last October brought along a dangerous hitchhiker: the Asia-1 strain of canine distemper virus (CDV), which until then had not been reported in North America. Scientists at Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center (AHDC) identified the virus in samples from the dog, which they suspect was part of a shipment of animals rescued from a Korean meat market by an animal welfare organization. Dogs that are already immunized against CDV likely are not at risk from the Asian strain, but if the virus comes into contact with wildlife, it may take a serious toll on wild carnivore populations.


Judge rejects anti-grazing lawsuit

Capital Press | Posted on April 4, 2019

A federal judge has ruled that grazing should be allowed to continue on four allotments in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan on March 22 released her findings on a lawsuit brought by the Greater Hells Canyon Council of La Grande claiming cattle grazing on the Hells Canyon allotments were imperiling the Spalding’s catchfly, a rare wildflower found only in the inland Northwest.Sullivan granted a motion for summary judgment to the Forest Service and the interveners in the case, the McClaran family, which holds permits to the allotments, and Wallowa County.


Washington beef groups back brand bill, but dairy industry says 'no'

Capital Press | Posted on April 4, 2019

Most Washington dairy farmers don’t brand cows and aren’t in the mood to pay more to support a brand program, an industry representative told lawmakers, complicating a last-ditch push to save the program aimed at marketing cattle and deterring rustlers. Other cattle groups endorsed a plan to raise fees to fund inspections by the state Department of Agriculture of cattle changing owners. Washington State Dairy Federation policy director Jay Gordon said recent meetings with members revealed strong opposition.“We got our ears bent pretty hard,” he said. The steepest hike would be for inspecting unbranded cows, and the proposal comes as dairies struggle with a prolonged slump in milk prices.“The timing is poor. Our guys are really grumpy right now,” he said.The agriculture department inspects cattle to certify ownership. Last raised in 2006, the fees do not cover the cost of putting inspectors in the field, and the mismatch between costs and revenue over the past two years is approaching $1 million, according to the department.


U.S. loses over 2,700 licensed dairy farms in 2018

Feedstuffs | Posted on April 4, 2019

The number of dairy farms in the U.S. has been sharply declining, and now a U.S. Department of Agriculture report has revealed by just how much. According to the data, the U.S. lost 2,731 (6.5%) licensed dairy farms from 2017 to 2018. The total number of dairy farms is now at 37,468.


New regulations for goats for Federal Scrapies Program

National Institute for Animal Agriculture | Posted on April 2, 2019

The 2019 Federal Scrapie Regulation Revision means goats including slaughter goats and commercial goats that were previously exempted will need to be individually officially identified or group identified with a group lot ID with some exceptions.  


U.S. crop production unlikely to suffer much from floods

Successful Farming | Posted on April 2, 2019

Spring flooding in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt will have a marginal impact on corn and soybean plantings, according to a USDA survey of growers and initial tallies of flooded land. With normal weather and yields, there would be limited impact on production of the two most widely grown U.S. crops, thanks to the huge amount of cropland nationwide. Farmers intend to plant a combined 177 million acres of corn and soybeans this spring, said USDA in its annual Prospective Plantings Report on Friday. By comparison, estimates of farmland flooding range from 500,000 acres in Iowa and western Nebraska to 1.1 million acres in the Midwest.If farmers follow through on plans to plant 92.8 million acres of corn and 84.6 million acres of soybeans, they would be on track to harvest the second-largest corn crop and the fourth-largest soybean crop on record after allowing for abandonment of some of the land due to bad weather, disease, or pests. USDA projects 1 million acres, on average, would produce 176 million bushels of corn or 49.5 million bushels of corn this year.


The Farm Belt faces an expensive cleanup after already-costly record flooding

CNBCm | Posted on April 2, 2019

Record flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains caused at least $3 billion in damage to the region, and more than one-third of the tally is from agriculture, according to officials. The states affected by the rapid snow melt and flooding include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More rain is forecast to hit portions of the Midwest into Saturday that could exacerbate flooding issues.Record flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains caused at least $3 billion in damage to the region, and more than one-third of the tally is from agriculture, according to officials.The states affected by the rapid snow melt and flooding include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More rain is forecast to hit portions of the Midwest into Saturday that could exacerbate flooding issues.


The Farm Belt faces an expensive cleanup after already-costly record flooding

CNBC | Posted on April 1, 2019

Record flooding in the Midwest and Great Plains caused at least $3 billion in damage to the region, and more than one-third of the tally is from agriculture, according to officials. The states affected by the rapid snow melt and flooding include Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. More rain is forecast to hit portions of the Midwest into Saturday that could exacerbate flooding issues.A costly cleanup awaits the Farm Belt states as the flooded Mississippi River continues to recede. Forecasters predict portions of the river could remain high well into the middle of May.Nebraska suffered nearly $1.4 billion in projected damage, according to state officials. Of the total, damage to agriculture is estimated at about $900 million, including crops, land and livestock, according to Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.Nelson said farmers and ranchers in Nebraska lost hundreds of pigs and thousands of cattle, including calves.“We’ve seen the water recede in a number of areas in the state of Nebraska, although there are certainly downstream areas that continue to have flooding taking place,” Nelson said. “Nearly every river and stream set all-time flood records.”Nelson said farmers already faced tough times before the powerful storm and flooding hit the region, so he fears some will be forced to go out of business because of additional financial stress caused by the disaster.“Farmers and ranchers are very resilient and will try to survive,” he said. “But they might figure out in a year or two that there’s just no way to come back from a loss like this.”Some of the damage is to corn and soybeans that farmers had in storage this year as they ride out the U.S.-China trade war. One farmer in southwestern Iowa reported having flooded bins and grain valued at about $900,000.According to Iowa officials, most of the grain exposed to floodwaters this month is not insured.


U.S. crop production unlikely to suffer much from floods

Food & Environmental Reporting Network | Posted on April 1, 2019

Spring flooding in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt will have a marginal impact on corn and soybean plantings, according to a USDA survey of growers and initial tallies of flooded land. With normal weather and yields, there would be limited impact on production of the two most widely grown U.S. crops, thanks to the huge amount of cropland nationwide.Farmers intend to plant a combined 177 million acres of corn and soybeans this spring, said USDA in its annual Prospective Plantings report on Friday. By comparison, estimates of farmland flooding range from 500,000 acres in Iowa and western Nebraska to 1.1 million acres in the Midwest.If farmers follow through on plans to plant 92.8 million acres of corn and 84.6 million acres of soybeans, they would be on track to harvest the second-largest corn crop and the fourth-largest soybean crop on record after allowing for abandonment of some of the land due to bad weather, disease or pests. USDA projects 1 million acres, on average, would produce 176 million bushels of corn or 49.5 million bushels of corn this year.The USDA report was based on a survey of more than 82,000 farmers during the first two weeks of March, just before a blizzard swept cattle-producing western Nebraska and heavy spring rains accelerated snowmelt in the upper Missouri River basin. The spring planting season is on the horizon and there is widespread concern if flooding will persist and whether fields will dry out in time to produce a crop.


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