University of Missouri researchers continue to find volatility of the newer dicamba products. M-U researchers are in their second year of studying soybean plants, placed 12 inches above the crop canopy, in fields that have been sprayed with dicamba during temperature inversions. Preliminary results show damages to the plants are highest in the first 24 hours they are placed in the sprayed fields but damages can occur up to 96 hours afterward. The plants have no direct contact with dicamba. At the Pest Management field day at Bradford farms near Columbia, Missouri, MU weed scientist Dr. Kevin Bradley said they don’t know how the soybean plant leaves can be cupped up (damaged) if not for volatility of the products.
The paper also presents an overview of the current landscape of governance of genome editing, including existing regulations, international agreements, and standards and codes of conduct, as well as a discussion of factors that affect governance, including comparison with other approaches to genetic modification, environmental and animal welfare impacts of specific applications, values of producers and consumers, and economic impacts, among others. Recognizing both that genome editing for crop and livestock improvement has the potential to substantially contribute to human welfare and sustainability and that successful deployment of genome editing in agriculture will benefit from science-informed, valueattentive regulation that promotes both innovation and transparency the paper aims to provide a conceptual and knowledge-based foundation for regulatory agencies, policy- and lawmakers, private and public research institutions, industry, and the general public.
A Baltimore startup that spun out of research at Morgan State University is looking to turn poultry litter into power for farmers. Cykloburn Technologies is developing a low-emission combustion system that converts biomass into energy. CEO Rob Meissner said the technology is being designed as an option for poultry farmers who use chicken litter as fertilizer. On the Eastern Shore, nitrogen and phosphorous from excess fertilizer is pegged as a prime pollutant in the Chesapeake Bay. Using the company’s offering, Meissner said the waste could instead be used as energy to heat chicken houses and provide a renewable source of energy for other operations. That alternative source of energy generated can also help farmers save money.
The Cabinet has agreed to enable Ireland to prohibit or restrict the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Ireland.The Government approved the transposition of an EU Directive, which will enable Ireland to opt out of cultivation of GMO crops approved for cultivation elsewhere in the EU. This will happen on a much wider range of policy grounds than had previously been the case.These grounds include where such cultivation would be contrary to environmental policy objectives, town and country planning, land use, socio-economic impacts, avoidance of GMO presence in other products, agricultural policy objectives and public policy.
Cargill reported $3.2 billion in adjusted operating earnings for the 2018 fiscal year, one of its best annual performances. The fourth quarter also was very strong for the company.
A uniform, national food ingredient disclosure solution was passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support. The law prevents the confusion and costly red tape associated with a 50-state patchwork of mandatory state labeling laws that could have raised the cost of food for families by up to $1,050 per year. The bipartisan law includes a consistent labeling standard will allow consumers to access more product information than ever before through tools such as SmartLabel TM, and will ensure that foods produced with genetically modified ingredients are not unnecessary stigmatized with an on-package label. However, the fight is not over. Federal regulators will now begin a long-term process to determine how the law is carried out across the country. Check back for more details about how you can stay engaged as this new law enters the rule-making process at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced new cooperative agreements with Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi and American Samoa, as well as renewed agreements with 43 other states, in support of efforts to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. In this third year of the State Produce Implementation Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP), awardees are being provided with the resources to formulate and implement produce safety systems; develop and provide education, outreach, and technical assistance; deliver produce safety training; recruit personnel; and develop inventories of farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule to target outreach, education and inspection activities. The funding can also be used by states to support the On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) program, a voluntary program to help farmers learn about the Produce Safety Rule and determine how prepared they are to comply with the rule’s requirements. The availability of CAP funding was first announced in March 2016. Bids were open to all states and U.S. territories. The FDA announced the first cooperative agreements with $21.8 million for 42 states in September 2016, and the second-year agreements, which awarded $30.9 million to 43 states, were announced in July 2017. Today, the FDA is announcing $32.5 million in funding for the 46 states and one territory. Successful implementation of the Produce Safety Rule depends on partnerships between the FDA and the states, both to deliver education and technical assistance to farmers and to provide on-going inspections, compliance, and oversight. The Produce Safety Rule, which the FDA finalized in November 2015, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
Mr. Trump’s suggestion that it is “impossible” for American farmers to sell their products to the European Union is wrong. In fact, the 28 countries of the European Union are the United States’ fifth-largest export market for agricultural goods, like tree nuts and soybeans, totaling $11.5 billion in 2017, according to the Department of Agriculture.But the United States did import about $10 billion more in agricultural products, like wine, beer and chocolate, from the European Union than it exported there. (Overall, the United States has had an agricultural trade surplus with the rest of the world since 1960.) The European Union does impose a higher average tariff on agricultural products (11 to 12 percent) than the United States (about 5 percent), but about a third of farm goods enter both the European Union and the United States tariff-free, according to the World Trade Organization.
North Dakota's attorney general is suing the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over agricultural land the company owns in violation of a state law banning large corporations from owning farmland. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a civil complaint in state district court against Dakota Access LLC, a company formed by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to build the $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The pipeline began operating a year ago. Dakota Access in September 2016 bought about 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares) from a ranch family in an area of southern North Dakota where thousands of pipeline opponents had gathered to protest. North Dakota law prohibits large corporations from owning and operating farms, to protect the state's family farming heritage, but Stenehjem reached a deal with the company under which he agreed not to immediately sue. He deemed the purchase temporarily necessary to provide a safer environment for pipeline workers. The agreement with the company expired at the end of last year but was extended through June. The company's "continued ownership of the land constitutes a continuing violation of state law,"
Black farmers, whose numbers already have dwindled precipitously over the past century, face new hardships after suffering poor yields last year because they were sold "fake" soybean seeds marketed at a Memphis trade show, members of a group representing African-American growers said. Leaders of the Memphis-based Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association have filed a class-action lawsuit against Stine Seed Co., the nation's largest independent seed-producer, accusing the Adel, Iowa, firm of targeting African-Americans for sales of defective seeds. The suit alleges that black farmers who attended the 67th Annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show at the Memphis Cook Convention Center in March of last year bought more than $100,000 worth of Stine seeds. But the "certified" seeds the growers had paid for were switched with inferior ones at a warehouse near Sledge, Mississippi, according to the suit.