AG Rural News

Today’s House Ways & Means Committee hearing on trade featured an interesting exchange between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Representative Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon. In his testimony, Lighthizer discussed efforts to eliminate non-scientific trade barriers imposed on U.S. ag and food products by other countries. He was especially critical of the European Union’s claims that some U.S. food and ag products are unsafe, calling it “thinly-veiled protectionism”. His comments were challenged by Blumenauer, who argued that the U.S. ...
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A member of the University of Minnesota Extension Rural Stress Taskforce has some advice for parents of rural teens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aly Kloeckner says geography plays a role in parenting, and a rural setting presents both challenges and advantages. “With our teens, so often they’re looking for the opportunity to make a decision for themselves. They’re looking to become independent young adults. So I think it’s really important that we remind them about how their choices are helping to protect the people that they love and the people in their communities.” She tells Brownfield teens should feel empowered, as long as...
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A member of the University of Minnesota Extension Rural Stress Taskforce has some advice for parents of rural teens during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aly Kloeckner says geography plays a role in parenting, and a rural setting presents both challenges and advantages. “With our teens, so often they’re looking for the opportunity to make a decision for themselves. They’re looking to become independent young adults. So I think it’s really important that we remind them about how their choices are helping to protect the people that they love and the people in their communities.” She tells Brownfield teens should feel empowered, as long as...
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After a tiger at a zoo in New York tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Brownfield interviewed Dr. Jim Lowe, an infectious disease veterinarian with the University of Illinois, who talked about the rapidly changing virus and what experts know about it’s impacts on the health of pets and livestock. Listen to our interview to learn more about COVID-19’s mild effects on cats and the unlikelihood of livestock contracting the virus. Interview with Jim Lowe ...
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Ag News

Three of the new agriculture provisions in the updated coronavirus relief bill introduced by the House this week relate to meat and poultry. The HEROES Act 2.0 provides more than one Billion dollars to assist contract growers of poultry and livestock growers who face losses because of reduced placements related to COVID-19. It provides grants to improve meat and poultry facilities to allow for interstate shipment. And it requires a report on the structure and availability of U.S. ...
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An ag economist says the current ag income outlook in much of the Midwest is higher than expected. Gary Schnitkey with the University of Illinois tells Brownfield in Illinois the outlook is higher now than it was in July. He attributes that to higher commodity prices, the announcement of CFAP2 and good yields. “For Illinois at least higher yields, probably not for Iowa and a couple of other places, but USDA is projecting a second highest yield ever in Illinois so that would help.” He says strong export demand from China and yield losses from dry weather and the derecho have boosted prices...
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The U.S. corn crop is 15 percent harvested. The USDA’s weekly crop progress report says that is a percentage point behind normal. The corn crop is 57 percent good to excellent, a drop of four percentage points from last week. Soybean combining is five percentage points ahead of normal at 20 percent complete. U.S. soybeans are 55 percent good to excellent, a drop of nine percentage points from last week. Winter wheat planting is a couple of points ahead of normal at 35 percent complete. ...
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The long-awaited Next Generation Fuels act was introduced to the US House Thursday by Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois. The bill establishes a minimum octane standard for gasoline and requires sources of the added octane value to reduce carbon emissions by at least 30% compared to baseline gasoline. Many ag and environmental groups support the bill as a roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect human health and increase engine efficiency while also encouraging the use of biofuels and lower prices at the pump. ...
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