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SARL Members and Alumni News

Kentucky Ag Commissioner hails industrial hemp research pilot program’s multi-million-dollar economic impact

Lane Report | Posted on April 5, 2018

Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced that preliminary analysis of the 2017 Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program reveals a multi-million-dollar economic impact for the state. According to early analysis of the 2017 processor production reports, Kentucky licensed processors paid Kentucky growers $7.5 million for harvested hemp. Additionally, Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program processor licensees reported $25.6 million in capital improvements and investments and $16.7 million in gross product sales.

Urban poultry needs more regulation to protect human and animal health

WTOP | Posted on April 5, 2018

Colorado has received a lot of attention recently as one of the first states to allow recreational marijuana, but it’s also legalizing other things. Denver, one of the nation’s hottest urban real estate markets, is surrounded by municipalities that allow backyard chicken flocks. This isn’t just happening in Colorado. Backyard chickens are cropping up everywhere. Nearly 1 percent of all U.S. households surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported owning backyard fowl in 2013, and 4 percent more planned to start in the next five years. That’s over 13 million Americans flocking to the backyard poultry scene. Ownership is spread evenly between rural, urban and suburban households and is similar across racial and ethnic groups. A 2015 review of 150 of the most-populated U.S. cities found that nearly all (93 percent) allowed backyard poultry flocks.

Rural Georgia wins big as session ends

Union Recorder | Posted on April 5, 2018

This legislative session gave rural Georgia micro hospitals, a new health care-focused think tank and a sizable down payment on economic development initiatives tailored for the state’s beleaguered small towns. But other proposals — including a plan to empower electric cooperatives to provide broadband — just ended up as fodder for the messy tradition that marks the end of every legislative session in Georgia.Some ideas — such as one offering a tax break to people who move to rural counties — never got off the ground.Most of the key measures designed to boost rural parts of the state succeeded, even if they squeaked by after a self-imposed midnight deadline.

Ex-governor: State’s appeal of culvert order incites ‘social unrest’

Capital Press | Posted on April 5, 2018

Former Washington Gov. Dan Evans accused the state in a court document Monday of stirring up social unrest by appealing an order to replace fish-blocking culverts. Seattle lawyer Joe Mentor Jr. submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the 92-year-old Evans. The brief supports 21 Western Washington Indian tribes that sued to remove the culverts and restore salmon habitat.

Missouri Attorney General defends states’ sovereign, economic interests

Farm Futures | Posted on April 5, 2018

In requesting the U.S. Supreme Court to accept its complaint in the California cage size case, Missouri’s Attorney General states, “Unless this Court acts, California will continue to impose new agricultural regulations on other states in violation of federal law and those States’ sovereign, quasi-sovereign, and economic interests…”. The Reply Brief filed on March 20, 2018, to the Supreme Court states, “California persistently ignores federal law in its regulation of extraterritorial agricultural production.” The brief also declares California’s effort to regulate the size of a cage for laying hens “…reflects one of several attempts by California to dictate the manner of agricultural production in other States…”   California passed a Proposition, then legislation and regulations, which mandate that California egg producers and egg products in other states spend large amounts of capital to put in new cage systems for laying hens. We reported on this last December. California’s creative standards are required on other states if those states’ producers wish to sell eggs in California.In a move which has infuriated the complaining states, California has the audacity of sending its enforcement officials into neighboring states to enforce its cage size statute and regulations.

Ohio farmers reminded of manure application regs

Farm and Dairy | Posted on April 5, 2018

New measures signed into law by Gov. John R. Kasich in 2015 clarified and enhanced the restrictions on manure application within the Western Lake Erie Basin. According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Soil and Water Conservation, applications are not permitted in the Western Lake Erie Basin in the following situations:When the local weather forecast for the application area contains a greater than 50 percent chance of precipitation exceeding one-half inch in a 24-hour period;Producers are reminded it is their responsibility to research and make a copy of the local forecast or the 24-hour precipitation forecast.

Arizona egg bill gets unanimous Senate approval

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 5, 2018

A bill that would change the amount of time between when an egg is candled and sold, and still be able to be labeled with the AA grade is advancing through the Arizona legislature. Presently, eggs must be sold within 24 days of being laid in order to be called AA eggs. However, under legislation presented by Rep. Jill Norgaard, R-Phoenix, an egg could still carry the AA grade for up to 45 days after it is candled.

Iowa Senate OKs bill opening door to hemp production, marketing

Des Moines Register | Posted on April 5, 2018

The production and marketing of industrial hemp would be authorized in Iowa in compliance with federal law under a bipartisan bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. The Senate approved Senate File 2398, titled the "Iowa Industrial Hemp Act," on a 49-0 vote, sending the measure to the House.

Rhode Island to buy farms to help new farmers

Swiowa New Source | Posted on April 4, 2018

Rhode Island is launching a program to buy farms and sell them to new farmers for dirt cheap. A farm bought for $500,000, for example, could then be sold for $100,000. It is an unconventional approach to ensure that farming remains viable. Under the program, the state will buy a farm at the full appraised value, which takes into account the land's worth if it was developed. The state will then resell the farm at the agricultural appraised value, which is its worth solely as a farm. That is typically 20 percent of the full value, Ayars said. The condition is that it must remain a farm, which the state broadly defines as anything related to the production of agricultural crops or raising livestock.Rhode Island plans to spend $3 million from the most recent environmental bond approved by voters to buy farmland and development rights.

Delaware County officials end fight against 10,000-hog farm

Daily Herald | Posted on April 4, 2018

Officials in a central Indiana county are dropping their fight against a proposed 10,000-hog farm after threats of legal action since a state agency has approved the project. The Delaware County commissioner had put a hold on building permits for the farm in the northern part of the county. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management recently approved plans for the confined animal feeding operation. That's despite concerns from residents over possible well water pollution and the farm field application of manure produced in the site's four barns.