AG Rural News

The University of Missouri Extension is expanding mental health services for farmers and ag workers in rural Missouri. MU received a three-year grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. The project provides stress assistance and suicide prevention services for farmers, ranchers and others in ag occupations. All of the state’s 99 rural counties are short on mental health professionals and more than half of those counties have none. ...
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For the past three-and-a-half years, Greg Ibach has served as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs in the USDA. In this interview with Brownfield, Ibach, who is a farmer-rancher and former Nebraska director of agriculture, talks about some of the issues he has worked on at USDA, including the debate over who should regulate gene-edited animals, GMO labeling, animal ID, and cattle market concerns. AUDIO: Greg Ibach ...
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The rate of COVID-19 in rural Americans is surging. An analysis by the Daily Yonder shows new rural coronavirus infections set a record for the ninth week in a row. Ninety-percent of rural counties are now in the White House Coronavirus Task Force ‘Red Zones.’ Those are counties that average at least 100 new infections per 100-thousand people. Rural areas continue to experience new cases and deaths at a higher rate than metro counties. ...
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A proposed county ordinance to regulate CAFOs in northwestern Wisconsin has stalled. Christopher Nelson is the Chairman of the Polk County Board of Supervisors. He tells Brownfield, “I can tell you that yesterday at Health and Human Services, I think due to maybe some outside pressure, phone calls to other supervisors, she has now withdrawn the resolution for the time being.” Nelson tells Brownfield the proposed ordinance from Supervisor Amy Middleton of Osceola Township will not be taken up by the board, but he expects Middleton will try again to create local CAFO regulations. ...
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Ag News

~C-SPAN President Biden has signed three executive orders to fast-track climate friendly priorities. Biden says America has waited too long to deal head-on with the climate crisis and credited agriculture with being part of the solution. “We see farmers making American agriculture first in the world to achieve net zero emissions and gaining new sources of income in the process. And I want to parenthetically thank the Secretary of Agriculture for helping put together that program during the campaign. ...
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American Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall tells Brownfield he’s encouraged by what’s he learned about Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. “With Michael Regan coming onboard as EPA Administrator, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to him speak. He has a history of allowing farmers to come to the table and explain to him how how regulations would effect them if implemented.” He says that will be crucial knowing the Biden Administration is talking about the Waters of the U.S. ...
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An ag economist says while there is still a lot of volatility in the market, he does not think $16 soybeans are out of the question this year. Guy Allen with the International Grains Program at Kansas State University says last week beans fell back below $14 but the market saw some recovery early this week. “Looking back to when we had similar stocks/use in 2013, we saw beans above $16 and I don’t think that would be a surprise.” But, he says a lot of volatility remains. ...
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An ag economist does NOT believe closing the Keystone XL pipeline will impact energy prices in the short term.   As one of his first moves, President Biden issued an executive order to block the Keystone XL pipeline that carries crude oil from Canada to the US. Scott Irwin with the University of Illinois says it could be a signal of further regulatory moves to scale back the fracking revolution. “That could have implications for crude oil and natural gas prices moving forward. ...
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