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  • This dairy startup is trying to introduce the US to quark | Smart Brief

     need to make a confession. This was an interview I really wanted to do. I spent over 25 years in consumer packaged goods, specifically in dairy, and have always wanted to see quark succeed in the US market. If you don’t know what quark is, Google it. It is creamy and soft. If yogurt and cream cheese had a love child, it would be quark.I first tried Wünder Creamery’s quark at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. I loved it. Then I met co-founder Kamilya Abilova. Her story was fascinating, and I thought it would be interesting to share a bit about her journey."Quark is essentially a cheese, and we use cheese cultures to make it. Think something between yogurt and crème fresh.”“When I came to the US, I discovered that yogurt and dairy products were far different from what I knew back home. Yogurts seemed too sour or too sweet, they also seemed to be a bit too runny. I like my cultured dairy snack thick and filling. I found some quark here, but it was sold in the cheese section in big containers without any callouts on the packaging about its benefits, and it just tasted different. There was just no authentic quark on the market as a grab-n-go item, and an explanation about what quark is was nowhere to be seen. So, unless you are curious enough to Google it or you are somewhere from Europe and know how to use it in recipes, quark was just an obscure name on the shelf you pass by occasionally.”

    Post date: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 17:02
  • Robots fight weeds in challenge to agrochemical giants | Reuters

    In a field of sugar beet in Switzerland, a solar-powered robot that looks like a table on wheels scans the rows of crops with its camera, identifies weeds and zaps them with jets of blue liquid from its mechanical tentacles. Undergoing final tests before the liquid is replaced with weedkiller, the Swiss robot is one of new breed of AI weeders that investors say could disrupt the $100 billion pesticides and seeds industry by reducing the need for universal herbicides and the genetically modified (GM) crops that tolerate them. Dominated by companies such as Bayer, DowDuPont, BASF and Syngenta, the industry is bracing for the impact of digital agricultural technology and some firms are already adapting their business models. The stakes are high. Herbicide sales are worth $26 billion a year and account for 46 percent of pesticides revenue overall while 90 percent of GM seeds have some herbicide tolerance built in, according to market researcher Phillips McDougall.

    Post date: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:57
  • Oregon lawmakers mull preventing ‘too big to fail’ livestock operations | Capital Press

    he regulatory problems facing a controversial Oregon dairy have raised questions among lawmakers about avoiding “too big to fail” livestock operations in the future. Negative publicity has continued to mount for Lost Valley Farm of Boardman, Ore., which in 2018 has faced a $10,600 fine, a lawsuit filed by state farm regulators and financial troubles resulting in bankruptcy proceedings.The 7,300-acre farm is home to nearly 14,000 head of cattle.The Senate Interim Committee on Environment and Natural Resources summoned the state’s top agriculture and water regulators for a legislative hearing on May 21 to begin analyzing what went wrong.

    Post date: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:56
  • MN Gov. Mark Dayton vetoes bill that gave Enbridge's new pipeline fast-track approval | Minnesota Star Tribune

    As expected, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed legislation that would have allowed Enbridge to build a controversial new oil pipeline without getting regulatory approval. The legislation would have terminated a three-year process before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that is nearly complete.The PUC is slated next month to decide if Enbridge's new Line 3 across northern Minnesota is needed, and if so, what route it should take."This bill pre-empts the long-standing PUC process, which has been established in law, and which has been used for years to make those complex and controversial decisions," Dayton said in a letter Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, speaker of the house.The legislation would also disregard the input of "thousands of Minnesotans who have participated in the [regulatory] process," including by attending public meetings and hearings, Dayton wrote.

    Post date: Tue, 05/22/2018 - 16:55
  • US winter wheat forecast down amid drought, surplus | Capital Press

    U.S. farmers are expected to harvest their smallest winter wheat crop in more than a decade amid an ongoing drought that has devastated fields across the nation’s breadbasket and a global surplus of the grain that has depressed prices, according to government report. The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecast the size of the nation’s 2018 wheat crop at 1.19 billion bushels. If realized, that would be down 6 percent from the previous year. The last time the nation’s farmers harvested such a small wheat crop was in 2002, when U.S. production fell to 1.137 billion bushels,

    Post date: Thu, 05/17/2018 - 16:11

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Gleanings

Talk to your governor about the Opportunity Zones in your state

30 January, 2018

Qualified Opportunity Zones in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017

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Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  

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Farm

Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices. 

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