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SARL AgClips

AgClips

Agclips for the week ending February 19, 2018

Where People Live Shapes How They Talk About Food, Study Shows

Food has been a topic of conversation for centuries, and now new research from The University of Texas at Austin shows that how we specifically talk about food plays a role in our health. Scientists have found that people in healthier cities talk differently about food — that healthy cities (e.g. Austin, San Diego, Boston) referenced locations, such as grocery stores or farmers’ markets, and used more complex language to describe a variety of cuisines more so than people in unhealthy cities (e.g. Houston, San Antonio, Columbus).

Senators would exempt farms from emergency waste reporting and superfund laws

A bipartisan coalition of 20 senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that would exempt farmers from reporting requirements for animal waste emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  The bill was organized by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.

Trump infrastructure plan leaves out rural broadband funding

Even though Trump has talked about the importance of expanding broadband in rural areas, he has not committed any funding to help build networks. Instead, his efforts have been aimed at eliminating red tape and regulation to get infrastructure built.  The proposal, which makes no mention of broadband infrastructure, is meant to spur the investment of at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure, according to a White House fact sheet. Under the plan, the feds would contribute a total of $200 billion over the next 10 years.

Basics of Texas Water Law

Water law is one of the most contentious and frequent legal issues Texas landowners face. As the adage goes, “Whiskey is for drinkin’ and water is for fightin’.” Texas property owners need to understand the basics of Texas water law as well as their rights and legal limitations related to the use of water on their property. Texas water law divides water into two broad categories: groundwater and surface water.

Iowa farmer sentenced to prison for bank, bankruptcy fraud

A Lake City farmer has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for committing fraud to get bank loans, crop insurance proceeds and ease a bankruptcy burden. Federal prosecutors say 36-year-old Clint Devries was sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in September to two counts of making false statements and one count of bankruptcy fraud.Prosecutors say he lied from 2013 through 2015 to a bank about the amount of crops he had in storage and other things to obtain farm operating loans. He later defaulted on more than $400,000 in loans from the bank.

Under the Trump administration, the EPA reduced federal penalties against polluters

Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency significantly lowered its activity to monitor and enforce regulation against industry polluters, falling to its lowest levels in a decade.The analysis of 2017 enforcement activity shows the EPA opened 115 environmental crime cases over the 2017 fiscal year, compared to the nearly 400 cases opened in 2009 under the Obama administration. The EPA also missed its 2017 target of 14,000 federal inspections and investigations, instead conducting only 11,800.

New techniques can boost yields, improve animal welfare. But are you ready?

The process of producing better food, protecting the environment and improving animal health is advancing at a seemingly breakneck pace.These advancements are driven in part by new scientific discoveries, genetic research, data science, enhanced computational power and the availability of new systems for precision breeding like CRISPR—an acronym for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats.

The beef industry has fired its first shot in the fight against cell-cultured meat

A major sector of the American meat industry is finally taking aim at cell-cultured meat, sparking what promises to be a spirited debate over the future of high-tech meat and how people will buy it. The US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) has filed a 15-page petition(pdf) with the US Department of Agriculture, asking it to differentiate conventional meat from the cell cultured—known in the industry as “clean meat”—by creating a formal definition.

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