Idaho led the nation in personal income growth during the first three months of 2017, economists say, and the gain was driven largely by strong farm earnings.
Farm groups are cautioning the Trump administration not to open a "Pandora's Box" by claiming restrictions on steel and aluminum are needed to protect "national security." Eighteen agricultural groups wrote to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Tuesday, stressing that such a move would be a disaster for global trade, "and for U.S. agriculture in particular."The Trump administration is expected to decide any day whether to place tariffs on steel imports, stemming from an April investigation announced by the Commerce Department over whether those imports are harming U.S. national security. It's a rare argument for a major global power to make in a trade case.The farm groups wrote to Ross that it would be "a short-sighted mistake" to restrict imports based on national security claims. The farm groups called on Ross to consider the broader implications for the economy "and avoid igniting a trade war through new restrictions on steel or aluminum trade ..."
The suicide rate for agriculture workers is higher than the suicide rate in all other occupations, a University of Iowa College of Public Health study found. Wendy Ringgenberg, whose family has a century farm near Belle Plaine, began the study in 2013 as part of her thesis for her master’s degree in occupational and environmental health.She said she set out to find the trends of intentional harm among agricultural workers.Existing studies show occupational injuries and fatalities in other industries, but not for agricultural workers, said Corinne Peek-Asa, professor of occupational and environmental health at the UI College of Public Health.“I know there are farmers that do commit suicide, yet they’re not categorized as occupational-risk suicide because of where they were located or because it’s such a taboo subject,” Ringgenberg said. “On the flip side, we have farmers and ag workers who were victims of homicide based on their choice of occupation.”
Fish or farms? The House this week will tackle the question, which for years has triggered a tug-of-war between growers and environmentalists. It plans to vote on a Republican-authored plan aimed at sending more of northern California’s water to the Central Valley farmers who say they badly need it.But California’s two U.S. senators, both Democrats, vow to block the bill in that chamber, saying it would bypass environmental safeguards and override state law. Gov. Jerry Brown also opposes the bill.The bill, said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in an interview, “does not strike the right balance because there’s no reason that we have to accept a false choice and somehow weaken the Endangered Species Act in order to be smarter with water policy.”
Dairy processor HP Hood has purchased an idled yogurt production facility in western New York and plans to invest over $200 million to convert it to produce "extended shelf life beverages."Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Hood's purchase of the former Muller Quaker Dairy plant in Batavia Tuesday. The Democrat says the new plant will bring 230 jobs to the area over the next five years.
There has been a bloodletting at the top of the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Eight senior officials, including the chief, have been removed from their posts after a bid to increase the cost of in-state hunting and fishing licenses divided the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.On one side was former chief Ray Petering and a coalition of 41 sporting organizations that support higher fees to help meet the division’s needs. On the other, advocates say, was Jim Zehringer, head of the agency, who opposed the increase.The cause of the divide was a $220 million budget shortfall projected over the next decade by the Sportsmen’s Alliance, and a grassroots-initiated proposal for a license fee increase to help address that problem. “Ohio sportsmen and women have never had to fight so hard to convince the government to pay our own way,” said Robert Sexton, a consultant with the Sportsmen’s Alliance.
USDA raised its forecast for 2017 red meat and poultry production from last month as higher forecast beef and broiler production more than offset declines in pork and turkey production, according to its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.
There’s a farm in upstate New York that grows cannabiswith Governor Cuomo’s blessing, but plot twist: The leaves won’t get you high. That’s because they’re hemp, which is like diet Cannabis sativa, and the 100 acres’ worth that JD Farms grows is used specifically for organic food products — a suddenly trendy industry that Cuomo himself predicts could bring billions to the state. JD Farms already sells its salad mixes, hemp pastas, and cold-pressed hempseed oil to an impressive clientele that includes Estela chef Ignacio Mattos, Whole Foods, and small-batch Brooklyn pasta-maker Sfoglini. Many people treat hemp as quasi-legal, but it’s a darling of the nutrition industry, which views it as a superfood equal to flax and chia seeds. Only soybeans have more protein, and hemp can supposedly boost the immune system, lower blood pressure, and suppress appetite. It also contains 20 amino acids, and a lot of omega-3s and -6s. Unlike marijuana, it has only trace amounts of THC — by law, less than 0.3 percent — and is better known for the incredibly strong fibers used in ropes, ’90s jewelry, and Rainbow-brand sandals. But hemp-food companies are mostly after the seeds, which can be pressed into oil, processed into flour, or even shelled and sprinkled raw over yogurt.
“It’s imperative that everybody follows the rules,” Campbell Cox said. “You have to use the right pressure, the right boom height and the right wind speed, etc. To use this product, you have to do it right. There are no gray areas. The weather has to be right and you have to have the right equipment.” Cox says following label guidelines is paramount. “Ignoring the label rules is ignorance; it’s not an accident. That’s not going to be acceptable to us or for any farmer.”usty Cox said the news of drift complaints in the Mid-South has amplified the importance of using the dicamba technology correctly. Farmers who don’t follow the guidelines have made it tougher on everyone.“It made us more scrutinized because now all eyes are on us on what we are going to do with this technology. The whole program is going to be tougher on everyone due to the sloppiness of a few,” he said.Both Campbell and Rusty say the auxin technology is an important part of their weed management system. But it is only part of the system.“Dicamba is another step in the whole process,” Campbell said. “We have to continue using PREs, and we have to keep using all of the chemistries and modes of action that we have. Engenia is another tool in the tool bag; it’s not the only tool in the tool bag.”
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) on Wednesday joined other Southern states by announcing additional measures to mitigate the risk of herbicides containing dicamba. The new rules filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State extend through Oct. 1, 2017, and require anyone spraying dicamba to be certified as a private or licensed applicator and keep records of the applications. Available hours to spray dicamba are now restricted to a period of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to avoid temperature inversions. No older formulations of dicamba products can be sprayed in agricultural settings for the remainder of the agricultural growing season. Applications over the top of cotton after first bloom are also prohibited.Dicamba herbicide is the suspected cause of widespread crop injury across several states.The Missouri Department of Agriculture said it may lift the temporary ban on the sale and use of in-crop use of the herbicide this week if a new label is developed with additional safeguards. The state has received over 130 official complaints related to dicamba since June 13, 2017.Both Monsanto and BASF, companies that manufacture dicamba herbicides designed to work with new Xtend-traited soybeans and cotton, confirmed to DTN that they have been actively working with state rule makers. "We are hopeful we will be able to reach resolution on this matter in very short order," said Monsanto spokesman Kyel Richard.