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Agriculture News

Cattlemen at heart: Creativity gives next generation of farmers a boost

The Dickinson Press | Posted on August 7, 2018

To help get new farmers on the land, in 2017 the Minnesota Legislature passed the Beginning Farmer Incentive Credit that provides tax credits to the owners of farm assets who either rent or sell assets to a beginning farmer.The new program includes incentives for farmers who sell or rent assets to those who are not close relatives – not children, grandchildren, spouses or siblings.It includes a tax credit up to 5 percent of the sale of assets and up to 10 percent of the gross rental income.Those credits can reduce the risk for older farmers to sell or rent to beginning farmers, Wohlman said.A Beginning Farmer Management Credit is available for beginning farmers who enroll in an approved farm business management program, as well as scholarships for farm management classes.

Climate change-driven droughts are getting hotter, study finds

Science Daily | Posted on August 2, 2018

In a new study, researchers report that temperatures during droughts have been rising faster than in average climates in recent decades, and they point to concurrent changes in atmospheric water vapor as a driver of the surge.

As temperatures rise, Earth's soil is 'breathing' more heavily

Science Daily | Posted on August 2, 2018

The vast reservoir of carbon stored beneath our feet is entering Earth's atmosphere at an increasing rate, according to a new study. Blame microbes: When they chew on decaying leaves and dead plants, they convert a storehouse of carbon into carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere.

2017 Was One Of The Hottest Years On Record

NPR | Posted on August 2, 2018

NOAA has released the latest State of the Climate report, its annual checkup on our planet. So, how did Earth fare in 2017?Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: highest concentrations ever. Global surface temperature: near-record high. Sea surface temperature: near-record high. Global sea level: highest on record.Warm global temperatures have been a strong trend in recent years: the four warmest years on record all occurred since 2014, and last year was among them. In fact, 2017 was the warmest non-El Niño year ever recorded.The past three years were "substantially warmer than the previous — kind of establishing a new neighborhood in terms of global temperature," said Deke Arndt, a climatologist at NOAA and the lead editor of the report. "And 2017 reinforced that."

Farm groups go on anti-tariff blitz after Trump offers trade aid

Politico | Posted on August 2, 2018

arm groups are going on the offensive with a multimillion-dollar advertising and advocacy campaign against President Donald Trump’s tariffs just days after the administration rolled out a $12 billion bailout for farmers harmed by a mounting trade war. The launch of the campaign also comes as Trump is due Thursday in Iowa and Illinois, where he is likely to reassure farmers growing increasingly anxious over trade retaliation that has targeted soybeans, pork and other major farm commodities.

The fight for America's farming soul

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier | Posted on August 2, 2018

Bozic, asked to describe the “current situation in the [state’s] dairy sector,” told legislators he had “estimated… over 80 percent of the state’s remaining dairy farmers are ‘last generation dairies.’” Interestingly, that walking-dead news wasn’t what landed Bozic, who doubles as the associate director of the Midwest Dairy Foods Research Center, in hot milk. It’s what he said next that did the trick:“In this ‘sour milk’ economy,” wrote Shepel, Bozic “proposed a new kind of dairy business model to take the state forward.“He told lawmakers that the capital needed to build a new dairy that will achieve sufficient economies of scale is $30 million to $50 million and that no single farmer can afford that.” As such, “‘We need to bring together 10-12-15 families that all bring their financial wherewithal.’” Then McMillin, as quoted by The Milkweed, asked the operative question at the heart of not just Minnesota dairy woe but all 21st century American ag policy: “Do we push for the model suggested by Bosic (sic) or do we strive to find policy which works for the majority of dairy” — really all U.S. farm and ranch — “producers?” It’s the critical question that’s been in need of an answer for more than 20 years since, in 1996, Congress — led by then-House Ag Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., now Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts — pushed Big Ag’s most hands-off farm bill proposal through a GOP-dominated House and Senate.

2.5 Billion Pounds of Meat Piles Up in U.S. as Production Grows, Exports Slow

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on August 2, 2018

Meat is piling up in U.S. cold-storage warehouses, fueled by a surge in supplies and trade disputes that are eroding demand. Federal data, coming as early as Monday, are expected to show a record level of beef, pork, poultry and turkey being stockpiled in U.S. facilities, rising above 2.5 billion pounds, agricultural analysts said.

Commentary: Why Science Does Not Matter Anymore and Why That is a Problem for Agriculture

Hoosier Ag Today | Posted on August 2, 2018

oday, everybody is an expert on science and can pronounce judgement on scientific research and advancement. In our world that judgement carries just as much weight as stacks of peer reviewed, research results. Take, for example, the decision on the safety of glyphosate that is being decided in a California courtroom not a laboratory. Alex Berezow, noted science writer, said scientific credentials that used to mean something no longer count in the court of public opinion, “In 2018, we live in a thoroughly postmodernist society. In a world in which we can no longer distinguish truth from lies and science itself has been redefined, non-scientists can claim to be scientists. And I’m the Queen of England.”This is a serious concern for agriculture where much of our current production technology and more of our future advancements are rooted in science. During a recent Corteva media field day I attended, all the talk was about science. These people took science seriously, and were investing hundreds of millions of dollars into research to increase food production safely and sustainably. It will be difficult, however, to get public acceptance of this science in our current anti-science world.

Opinion: Trumps $12 billion PR stunt

Daily Yonder | Posted on August 2, 2018

Despite strong continued support for President Trump in rural America, farmers fear they will bear the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs from the president’s trade war.  Farm country can ill afford it: In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted 2018 crop profits would hit a 12-year low. Dairy farmers’ prices have fallen 30% in two years, while pork producers have seen a price drop of roughly $20 per head. Overall farm incomes are down nearly 50% from 2013. Long before the trade war began, I and many other farmers feared we were in a farm crisis as bad as that of the 1980s. Now we know it will be even worse. we have a new $12 billion emergency aid package for farmers to ease the sting of the tariffs, clearly designed to keep his rural base firmly behind him. But will it actually solve farmers’ problems? I doubt it. Twelve billion dollars is a lot of money, but spread across all the major agricultural commodities, it will be a drop in the bucket. Details on how the money will be dispersed are still hazy, but I suspect most of it will not find its way into the pockets of struggling farmers. 

AFIA applauds passage of bill to improve process for new animal drug approval

AFIA | Posted on August 2, 2018

he American Feed Industry Association commends Congress for sending a bill to the president this week for signature - the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018 (H.R. 5554). This bipartisan legislation will continue providing the necessary resources to support the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine with completing more expeditious reviews of new animal drugs and improving FDA’s review and approval process for animal food ingredients.