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Recent AgClips

Third-biggest US coal company files for bankruptcy

AP News | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Energy News

The nation’s third-largest coal company by production volume filed for bankruptcy Friday as utility companies increasingly turn to gas-fired generation and renewable energy for electricity. Gillette-based Cloud Peak Energy filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. The move was widely expected since at least March, when the company received the first of several extensions to make a $1.8 million loan payment. The latest extension expired Friday.

States fight Trump rollback of Obama lightbulb rules

The Hill | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in SARL Members and Alumni News

States are preparing to fight back as the Trump administration moves to erase Obama-era standards for lightbulbs.

Farmers Losing Grip on American Food Dollar

Growing Produce | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Agriculture News

According to a report recently released by the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents for every dollar American consumers spend on food. This value marks a 17% drop since 2011 and marks the smallest portion of the American food dollar that farmers have received since the USDA began reporting this data in 1993. The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing.

26 U.S. states ban or restrict local broadband initiatives

Tech Spot | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Rural News

Faced with high fees, slow speeds and poor customer service, many communities in the U.S. have turned to community broadband projects to free themselves from the clutches of major telecom providers. But this isn’t an option for everyone, as 26 states either severely restrict or outright ban community broadband initiatives. Healthy competition is meant to be the cornerstone of the U.S. economy, but the telecom industry has not only never embraced that mentality, it has apparently gone one step further by successfully lobbying to reduce competition through restrictions and outright bans.

FCC Rural Broadband Fund Would Move Funds From Existing Program | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Federal, Rural News

The rural broadband fund that Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed last week would rely on funding from an existing broadband program slated to expire next year, while also setting higher standards for internet speeds, according to the FCC. Around $2 billion has been available annually in recent years through the Connect America Fund and that same amount would be shifted to the new fund, dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, said Mark Wigfield.

House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing: “Reviewing the State of the Farm Economy”

Farm Doc Daily | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Federal News

The numbers paint a rough picture: USDA forecasts net farm income level for 2019 to be only 77 percent of the annual average for 2000 through 2017. It’s down 50 percent from 2013 alone. Inflation-adjusted farm debt is the highest it has been since 1980 and the debt-to-asset ratio for farmers is rising steadily.

Michigan Gretchen Whitmer signs bills to limit asset forfeiture in drug cases

Detroit Free Press | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Law enforcement will be unable to permanently take ownership of cash and other property seized in drug cases unless certain conditions are met under legislation signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Oregon dentists become first in U.S. to be able to give all vaccines

Oregon Live | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Rural News

Oregon is the first state in the country to allow dentists to administer vaccines to patients. In a year marked with heated debate about the state’s involvement in boosting vaccination rates, the bill was quietly passed and signed into law with little fanfare. But it sets a new precedent for the role dentistry plays in the health care system.Two other states have laws that allow dentists to give flu shots to adults, but in Oregon, dentists will soon be able to give out any vaccine available at a primary care doctor’s office.

US planning to support farmers amid China trade spat: Agriculture secretary

Straits Times | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in Agriculture, Federal News

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Friday (May 10) that US President Donald Trump had asked him to create a plan to help American farmers cope with the heavy impact on agriculture of the trade war with China. A new aid program would be the second round of assistance for farmers, after the US Department of Agriculture’s US$12 billion plan last year to compensate for lower prices for farm goods and lost sales stemming from trade disputes with China and other nations.

Wisconsin state officials wipe out deer on Portage County farm

WEAU | Posted onMay 16, 2019 in SARL Members and Alumni News

Wisconsin agriculture officials say they've killed all the deer on a Portage County deer farm after a buck from the facility tested positive for chronic wasting disease. Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced Friday that all 30 deer on the Grand View Whitetails LLC breeding farm were killed May 1. Six of them tested positive for CWD.Authorities announced in November that a 3-year-old buck from the breeding farm that was killed on the Deep Woods Hunt Ranch in Portage County had CWD. The discovery led to quarantines on both the farm and the ranch.