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Rural Mainstreet Index Falls for February: Almost Two-Thirds of Banks Raised Farm Loan Collateral Requirements

Creighton University | Posted on March 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

 February Survey Results at a Glance: • Overall index moves above growth neutral for the 11th time in past 12 months. • Bank CEOs project a 6.1 percent decline in farm equipment sales over the next year. Last February, bankers expected a 6.9 percent reduction. • Weak farm income has pushed almost two-thirds of banks have increased collateral requirements on farm loans. • Almost one-third of banks have increased the farm loan rejection rate due to anemic farm income.

Missouri River Corps Release

DTN | Posted on March 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

The likelihood of more prolonged flooding along the Missouri River increased Thursday night when the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to increase water releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to 90,000 cubic feet per second because of inflows from the Niobrara River and other watersheds, the Corps stated. Releases from Gavins Point quickly spiked from 17,000 cfs just a few days ago to 37,000 cfs on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, the Corps had nearly tripled the release levels.

Iowa Latest to Declare Storms Disaster

DTN | Posted on March 19, 2019 in Agriculture News

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamationfor 15 counties hit by the latest catastrophic flooding in the Midwest, Reynolds announced in a news release. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an emergency declaration on Tuesday ahead of the storm that raced through the Midwest this week. As of Thursday, South Dakota Gov. Krisi Noem was preparing an emergency declaration for damage from the blizzard

SARL Members and Alumni News

Ohio Governor announces $900 million H2Ohio water quality program

Farm and Dairy | Posted on March 19, 2019

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine outlined a H2Ohio water quality initiative. He is introducing the initiative as part of his proposed budget for the 2020-2021 biennium. “We cannot continue to lurch from water crisis to water crisis. I am proposing an H2Ohio initiative that would allow us to invest in targeted, long-term solutions to ensure safe and clean water across the state of Ohio,” said DeWine.

Pa. reaches settlement on abandoned wells

Farm and Dairy | Posted on March 19, 2019

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced a settlement with Diversified Gas & Oil Corp. and Diversified Oil & Gas, (collectively referred to as Diversified) and Alliance Petroleum Co LLC (Alliance) over well-plugging violations in 23 Pennsylvania counties.

Legislators oppose farmworker labor bill

Hornell Evening Tribune | Posted on March 19, 2019

New York Senator Tom O’Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano are calling on the state’s Democratic legislative leaders to hold statewide public hearings on legislation that they believe could drive many family farms in New York State out of business and decimate local farm economies. The controversial legislation is known as the “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.” “First, the profound consequences of this legislation to one of New York State’s economic and cultural cornerstones demands, at the very least, a series of statewide public hearings.

Georgia oyster bill headed to senate vote over industry objections

Savannah Now | Posted on March 19, 2019

Charlie Phillips, whose well-tended clam beds account for what he estimates is about 90 percent of the aquaculture in Georgia, would love to see the state allow oyster farming, too. But he’s adamant the current legislation making its way through the General Assembly will do more harm than good. “It’s just overly restrictive and there’s no guarantee they’re going to do any of it,” Phillips said.

As workload grows for Iowa's pesticide inspectors, Ag Secretary says not to expect staff increases

Des Moines Register | Posted on March 19, 2019

Iowa will not add investigators to handle an increased number of pesticide drift complaints, favoring instead more efficient ways to handle complaint inspections, the state’s chief agriculture officer said. “I’ve got to manage the department of ag within my budget,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said during IowaWatch’s weekly radio program that aired this weekend.“It’s true, we’ve not seen a budget increase in the pesticide bureau, and I don’t expect to see a dramatic increase in the pesticide budget.

Agriculture News

Rural Mainstreet Index Falls for February: Almost Two-Thirds of Banks Raised Farm Loan Collateral Requirements

Creighton University | Posted on March 19, 2019

 February Survey Results at a Glance: • Overall index moves above growth neutral for the 11th time in past 12 months. • Bank CEOs project a 6.1 percent decline in farm equipment sales over the next year. Last February, bankers expected a 6.9 percent reduction. • Weak farm income has pushed almost two-thirds of banks have increased collateral requirements on farm loans. • Almost one-third of banks have increased the farm loan rejection rate due to anemic farm income.

Missouri River Corps Release

DTN | Posted on March 19, 2019

The likelihood of more prolonged flooding along the Missouri River increased Thursday night when the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to increase water releases from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota to 90,000 cubic feet per second because of inflows from the Niobrara River and other watersheds, the Corps stated. Releases from Gavins Point quickly spiked from 17,000 cfs just a few days ago to 37,000 cfs on Thursday morning. By Thursday evening, the Corps had nearly tripled the release levels.

Iowa Latest to Declare Storms Disaster

DTN | Posted on March 19, 2019

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamationfor 15 counties hit by the latest catastrophic flooding in the Midwest, Reynolds announced in a news release. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts issued an emergency declaration on Tuesday ahead of the storm that raced through the Midwest this week. As of Thursday, South Dakota Gov. Krisi Noem was preparing an emergency declaration for damage from the blizzard

Pa. reaches settlement on abandoned wells

Farm and Dairy | Posted on March 19, 2019

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced a settlement with Diversified Gas & Oil Corp. and Diversified Oil & Gas, (collectively referred to as Diversified) and Alliance Petroleum Co LLC (Alliance) over well-plugging violations in 23 Pennsylvania counties.

As workload grows for Iowa's pesticide inspectors, Ag Secretary says not to expect staff increases

Des Moines Register | Posted on March 19, 2019

Iowa will not add investigators to handle an increased number of pesticide drift complaints, favoring instead more efficient ways to handle complaint inspections, the state’s chief agriculture officer said. “I’ve got to manage the department of ag within my budget,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said during IowaWatch’s weekly radio program that aired this weekend.“It’s true, we’ve not seen a budget increase in the pesticide bureau, and I don’t expect to see a dramatic increase in the pesticide budget.

Federal News

US GDP will lose $290 billion due to tariffs

AEM | Posted on March 19, 2019

With tariffs continuing to take a toll on U.S. businesses, farmers, communities, and families across the country, a new report by IHS Markit outlines the impact of tariffs on the equipment manufacturing industry and the broader U.S. economy. “This report shows that tariffs continue to take a toll on U.S.

US seizes pork from China amid swine flu fears

The Hill | Posted on March 19, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have seized about 1 million pounds of pork imported from China amid concerns it could contain the African swine flu disease. Authorities seized the supplies over the last week in New York after the disease was found to have infected some Chinese pork products.

Trump’s proposed SNAP cuts could damage the economy. Here’s how.

The Washington Post | Posted on March 18, 2019

One thing you can say about any member of the Trump administration: They are consistent in their hatred of almost anyone who needs a financial helping hand. And they will pursue that hatred to the point of damaging the American economy. The Trump administration’s new budget, released Monday, includes staggering proposed cuts to social welfare programs and needs such as Medicare, Medicaid, housing and education. These cuts are not just mean, though they are indeed very, very mean.

U.S. and EU Work out Deal on Beef

WNEX | Posted on March 18, 2019

The United States and European Union have reached an agreement in principle to allow U.S. farmers a share of the E.U.’s annual 45,000-ton quota for hormone-free beef imports. South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President Steve Ollerich says that’s a good first step in possibly establishing more market share for U.S. beef in that market. He says a final trade agreement with the E.U. won’t come overnight.However, Ollerich says once the European consumers get a taste of U.S. beef, they’ll want even more of it.Negotiations to include the U.S.

FDA Publishes Final Rule Extending Compliance Dates for Agricultural Water Provisions

FDA | Posted on March 18, 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a rule to finalize the new compliance dates for the agricultural water requirements in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Rural News

Disaster, disruptions, and exhaustion. Flood problems will not relent

KETV | Posted on March 18, 2019

The rivers kept raging Sunday as more Nebraskans and Iowas fled to shelters, first responders kept working through their exhaustion, and scores of volunteers offered supplies, food, and prayers.  The head of the Nebraska State Patrol said the recovery would be a "marathon". With highways closed and farmland flooded, no one could offer a solid projection on how long it might take to put Nebraska back to where it was a month ago.The immediate concern Sunday was for those still stranded, or isolated.

Thousands flee Midwest flooding triggered by 'bomb cyclone' – and more rain is coming

USA Today | Posted on March 18, 2019

A "bomb cyclone" storm that bloated rivers as it roared through much of the Midwest combined with spring snowmelt Sunday to drive some Midwest rivers to record levels and force evacuation of hundreds of homes. At least two deaths were blamed on flooding. Two other men have been missing for days.Some areas must brace for more rain Tuesday, forecasters said. Tuesday's storm won't match last week's "bomb cyclone" that triggered heavy snow, howling winds and several tornadoes, AccuWeather Meteorologist Jim Andrews said.

Rural businesses feel ripple effect of farming struggles

Gazette Extra | Posted on March 18, 2019

Market forces have afflicted farmers in practically every commodity. Some farmers have drawn from their bank accounts and tried to persevere. Some have sold their animals and switched to other types of farming. Others have left the industry. As farms evaporate—Rock and Walworth counties have lost dairy farms every year since at least 1975—rural businesses that rely on farmers are feeling the impact.“I think it’s simple as driving down the road,” McMahon said. “Count how many dairy farms used to be a dairy farm. Right now, there might be horses in that pasture. It’s obvious that was a barn.

Wolves lead, dogs follow -- and both cooperate with humans

Science Daily | Posted on March 17, 2019

The statement is a bold one, especially as wolves have received a lot of negative attention in recent years. A recent study conducted by behavioral researchers, however, shows that dogs and wolves both work equally well with humans, albeit in different ways. The allegedly unequal brothers are thus much more similar than often assumed.

Why Broadband is a Better Bet than Coal for Rural America

Electric Light & Power | Posted on March 17, 2019

In my years as CEO of two different power-supply electric coops, one in Kentucky and the other in Colorado, I came to deeply appreciate the hardworking coal miners whose tough jobs had always been so indispensable to power generation. I felt for those miners as the forces of regulation and economics shifted our coal-powered industry toward natural gas. Across coal country, proud and vibrant small towns suffered enormously as mines closed and good-paying jobs faded. They suffer still.The truth is that no amount of political rhetoric can alter a fundamental reality of the U.S.

Energy News

Small Refinery Exemptions and Biomass-Based Diesel Demand Destruction

Farm Doc Daily | Posted on March 18, 2019

The market impact of small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted under the RFS remains a highly contentious issue.  From a regulatory standpoint, there is no doubt that SREs opened a backdoor mechanism for the EPA to reduce the statutorily-mandated RFS volumes. However, there is sharp disagreement about the impact of SREs on the physical consumption of biofuels, particularly for ethanol.  The ethanol industry has argued vociferously that there has been substantial destruction of demand in the physical ethanol market due to the SREs.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam vetoes attempts to pull state from regional carbon-cutting initiatives

Energy News Network | Posted on March 18, 2019

By issuing a pair of vetoes Thursday, Virginia Gov.

Solar Is Gaining in Wind Markets as the PTC Steps Down

Green Tech Media | Posted on March 18, 2019

Over the years, top-ranking wind and solar markets have overlapped in just a few states. Where wind flourished, solar usually hung back, and vice versa. “Each of our technologies has largely had their own playpen,” said Anthony Logan, a North American wind analyst at energy and consulting company Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.But now analysts say that’s changing. Dirt-cheap solar costs, record-setting growth and movement into new markets, plus the ability for solar to complement wind production, mean the technology is now encroaching on onshore wind’s territory.

Renewable energy reduces the highest electric rates in the nation

Phys Org | Posted on March 17, 2019

Michigan Technological University researchers found that increasing renewable and distributed generation energy sources can save Michigan electric consumers money. However, as three Michigan Tech researchers contend in a new study, while utility fuel mixes are slowly shifting away from fossil fuels toward , Michigan utilities, and U.S.

Unsafe coal ash contamination found in North Dakota groundwater

Bismarck Tribune | Posted on March 14, 2019

Unsafe contamination from coal ash disposal sites at half a dozen power plants in western North Dakota has seeped into groundwater sources, according to a report from an environmental group.The Environmental Integrity Project collected industry monitoring data for its nationwide report, which found that six of seven coal-fired power plants in North Dakota leaked contamination into groundwater sources at levels exceeding those deemed safe — in one case, by a factor of 100.But state health officials and representatives of the utilities that run the coal-fired power plants say none of North Da

Food News

Experts weigh new findings on eggs, cholesterol and health

CBS News | Posted on March 19, 2019

A new, large study may serve up some confusing advice for egg lovers.

What is Cheeslandia?

Chesselandia.com | Posted on March 19, 2019

First and most importantly, there will be thousands of pounds of assorted artisan cheeses, but Wisconsin also brings a un-brie-lievably unique spin with special touches like a Ferris wheel of award-winning cheeses, three 7-liter gourmet fondues, custom swag, and at certain times throughout the day, fair favorites like fried cheese curds and boozy snow cones. A cast of characters will make special appearances including a magician and juggler as well as a woman in a dress made of champagne flutes.

No One’s Really Sure How to Regulate This Hemp Food Craze

Pew Trust | Posted on March 14, 2019

Despite limited research on the compound’s health benefits, hemp CBD has become a nationwide health food craze. Stressed-out people flock to cafes and restaurants that sell CBD cocktails and cookies, doughnuts and dog treats. Martha Stewart is advising a cannabis company on a line of CBD products for humans and pets. Congress recently primed the market for more growth when it legalized hemp farming and sales nationwide. But the U.S.

Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil

San Francisco Chronicle | Posted on March 14, 2019

Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That's according to the company making the oil, which says it's the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S. Calyxt said it can't reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is "in use and being eaten."The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry's interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils.

How Can We Use Emerging Technology To Improve Community Nutrition?

Forbes | Posted on March 14, 2019

Technology is bringing to life the ability to accomplish feats that would have seemed science fiction when many of us were children -- like driverless cars and virtual reality. We likely have conversations with bots without even realizing we aren’t chatting with an actual person.