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Salting the earth: North Dakota farmers struggle with a toxic byproduct of the oil boom

For the past two decades, Peterson and his wife Christine have been dealing with the spillage of saltwater — a byproduct of oil production — on their land, which grows peas, soybeans and various types of grain. Almost 40 years ago, they signed a contract with an oil company "land man" who came to their house and said there might be oil on their land. In 1997, two spills covered dozens of acres with more than 50,000 gallons of saltwater. A decade later, another 21,000 gallons of saltwater spilled.

Milking cows on an industrial scale arrives in western Minnesota, and some farmers shudder

The milking carousel at the Louriston Dairy turns 22 hours a day and milks more cows in half an hour than most dairies do all day. Cows step onto the slow-moving merry-go-round in single file. A worker sprays disinfectant on each cow’s udder, another wipes the teats clean with a paper towel, and another secures suction cups onto the teats for milking during a seven-minute trip around the room. Gleaming silver tanks in the next room fill with flash-cooled milk as 106 cows are milked at once.The farm 18 miles west of Willmar is home to 9,500 cows, 40 times larger than the average U.S.

China says U.S. farmers may never regain market share lost in trade war

China can easily find other countries to buy agricultural goods from instead of the U.S., its vice agriculture minister said, warning that American farmers could permanently lose their share of the Chinese market as a result of the trade war. “Many countries have the willingness and they totally have the capacity to take over the market share the U.S. is enjoying in China. If other countries become reliable suppliers for China, it will be very difficult for the U.S. to regain the market,” Han Jun told official Xinhua news agency in an interview.

Trump's trade aid plan could breach WTO farm subsidy limit

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion plan to compensate farmers for financial losses stemming from his decision to impose tariffs on imports could push U.S. trade-distorting farm subsidies to their highest level since the late 1990s and potentially exceed WTO limits, former U.S. agriculture officials said.The highly controversial trade aid package creates a policy contradiction as the U.S. gears up for trade talks with the European Union.

Giant shipload of soya beans circles off China, victim of trade war with US

A shipment of soya beans worth more than $20m (£15.5m) has been bobbing aimlessly in the Pacific Ocean for a month, a casualty of the escalating trade war between China and the US.Lingering uncertainty over the cargo’s fate offered a timely reminder of the fallout from a dispute that intensified on Wednesday, as the US president, Donald Trump, unveiled a second round of tariffs on $16bn of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to respond in kind.China hits back against latest US tariffs; pound hit by Brexit worries – as it happened.

2018 is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year. Yet we're still not prepared for global warming.

This summer of fire and swelter looks a lot like the future that scientists have been warning about in the era of climate change, and it’s revealing in real time how unprepared much of the world remains for life on a hotter planet. The disruptions to everyday life have been far-reaching and devastating. In California, firefighters are racing to control what has become the largest fire in state history. Harvests of staple grains like wheat and corn are expected to dip this year, in some cases sharply, in countries as different as Sweden and El Salvador.

USDA to relocate ERS and NIFA outside of Washington

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced further reorganization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, intended to improve customer service, strengthen offices and programs, and save taxpayer dollars. The Economic Research Service, currently under USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area, will realign once again with the Office of the Chief Economist under the Office of the Secretary. Additionally, most employees of ERS and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will be relocated outside of the National Capital Region.

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