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Agriculture News

| Posted on February 13, 2019

Yakima Valley Dairy Farmers are continuing to prepare as more snow is expected to hit the Valley, they’re adding extra bedding to insulate areas for cows to lay in, adding extra feed, and thawing water troughs with hot water.“Without our employees, there’s no way we, or our cows could survive this storm,” Alyssa Haak , a dairy farmer in Prosser said. “To shield our cows from the wind we stacked straw bales to create a windbreak for our cows. I give a lot of credit to our milk truck drivers, too. Without their bravery, we wouldn’t be able to get our milk off the farm.”Another farmer in Grandview says he’s been working around the clock to make sure his cows are being protected from the elements.“These have been the worst few days of my life,” he said. “We’re just devastated. I don’t think we’ve ever been hit with weather like this.”With severe winter weather continuing to occur in in eastern Washington throughout the next week, dairy farmers are assessing their current losses and preparing for the next round of snow and wind.Farmers say that they are working together to help each other through these tough times.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation

Science Daily | Posted on February 13, 2019

In one generation, the climate experienced in many North American cities is projected to change to that of locations hundreds of miles away -- or to a new climate unlike any found in North America today. A new study and interactive web application aim to help the public understand how climate change will impact the lives of people who live in urban areas of the United States and Canada. These new climate analyses match the expected future climate in each city with the current climate of another location, providing a relatable picture of what is likely in store.

Dairy Report: US needs Japan for trade

Edairy News | Posted on February 13, 2019

A new report by Meros Consulting, a Tokyo-based company, for the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC),  shows that trade deals negotiated by other countries with Japan are hurting U.S. dairy trade access.Japan is the fourth largest dairy export destination for U.S. dairy products. The new trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the European Union could deprive the U.S. of $5.4 billion in sales over the next 21 years as these agreements fully mature, estimates Meros.

Farmers face rising costs in ongoing trade war

San Luis Obispo Tribune | Posted on February 12, 2019

Washington farmers can expect a tougher year covering expenses even if political leaders finalize trade agreements with the countries that import apples, beef and wheat from the Evergreen State, a Washington State University professor said.Randy Fortenbery spoke at length about the troubling overall picture of the forces grinding against what has been a robust U.S. economy."I think commodity prices, except for sorghum, are going to be a little bit better than last year. But we are talking dimes not dollars," Fortenbery said. "I don't think the price increase will offset the cost increases."He openly contradicted President Donald Trump, who last year said trade wars are good and easy to win.

New York Governor Announces $18.4 Million Available to Support Water Quality Protection Projects on New York Livestock Farms

New York Government website | Posted on February 12, 2019

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that $18.4 million in grant funding is available to help New York livestock farms implement water quality protection projects. The funding will be provided through the final round of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Waste Storage and Transfer System Program, a $50 million program launched in 2017. The program is part of the Governor's historic Clean Water Infrastructure Act, which would double under the 2019-2020 Executive Budget proposal to $5 billion. The application period is currently open and closes April 16, 2019.

Hazlett Named Senior Adviser at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

USDA | Posted on February 12, 2019

Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Jim Carroll announced Anne Hazlett as the office’s Senior Adviser for Rural Affairs. Hazlett has served as the Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since June 2017. In her new role at ONDCP, Hazlett will help shape policy aimed at improving the quality of life in rural America, coordinate interagency efforts on drug control activity impacting rural communities, and build coalitions and grassroots strategies in these areas centered on prevention, treatment and recovery.“Rural communities across the United States have been particularly hard hit by our nation’s addiction crisis,” ONDCP Director Jim Carroll said. “Anne has a critical understanding of the unique challenges facing these communities and is committed to helping them reverse the effects of the opioid epidemic. We are looking forward to her joining our team as we build a stronger, healthier, drug-free society today and in the years to come.”

Small lamb, beef plant approved in New Jersey

Meating Place (free registration required) | Posted on February 12, 2019

The Chesterfield Township (N.J.) planning board has approved plans for a small USDA-inspected meat processing plant.Located on a 14-acre site, the facility initially will process and warehouse meat for the owner’s Altoona, Penn., wholesale store. Once upgrades such as a new cooler are made, the plant will kill about 60 head of lamb and 10 head of cattle per day, according to the report.

Soybeans singled out in U.S.-China trade war, but small farmers bear the brunt

Harvest Public Media | Posted on February 11, 2019

In theory, closing off China’s soybean market due to the trade dispute with the U.S. on top of generally low prices for the commodity should affect all industry players, big to small. Agriculture economist Pat Westhoff begged to differ. “The impact on total revenue may be very similar across the scale of production,” according to Westhoff, who’s an ag economics professor at the University of Missouri. “But sometimes the effect on net revenue can be very different. So a given price that may be difficult for a large producer can be catastrophic for a small producer.”In other words, if you’re a farmer who plants only soybeans on relatively few acres, you’re probably in trouble.Cargill CEO David MacLennan told Yahoo Finance in late January that the company has “had to shift supply chains from North America to South America” — buying instead soybeans from Brazil and Argentina.Those places, Westhoff noted, aren’t in a trade war with China, and are markets that the multinational corporations already work in.“South American soybeans are going to be capturing a premium in the Chinese market than would they would have had, had it not been for the tariffs,” he said.

U.S. to end tomato trade pact with Mexico, threatening duties

Reuters | Posted on February 11, 2019

The United States will resume an anti-dumping investigation into Mexican tomatoes, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, withdrawing from a 2013 managed trade deal that U.S. growers and lawmakers say has failed. The move opens a new source of trade friction between the United States and Mexico, Commerce said it was giving the required 90-day notice before terminating the six-year-old agreement not to pursue anti-dumping cases against fresh tomato imports from Mexico.The action could lead to new duties on Mexican tomatoes, higher consumer prices and possible retaliation at a time when the two countries are still wrangling over U.S. tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum.

Michigan House votes to reject Whitmer's environmental executive order

Detroit Free Press | Posted on February 10, 2019

The state House voted 58-51 on Wednesday to reject a sweeping environmental executive order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in a move Whitmer denounced as an irresponsible vote against clean drinking water. The party-line vote in the House followed an earlier 3-2 vote in the Government Operations Committee.The resolution now moves to the Senate, if the Senate also votes to reject the order, that would kill it. The action by the House is a sign that talk about a bipartisan working relationship between Michigan's new Democratic governor and the Republican Legislature is quickly evaporating. The executive order the House rejected was the first nonemergency order Whitmer issued. Her first executive order declared a state of emergency as a result of dangerously cold temperatures last week.