AG Rural News

The National Association of Counties has launched a tool designed to more accurately identify broadband levels nationwide. Association president Greg Cox says current maps that describe high-speed internet coverage are inaccurate, which is why they partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and Rural Community Assistance Partnership to develop a mobile app called TestIT. “With the click of just one button, you can test your broadband speed from anywhere in this country.” Speaking at the National Association of Counties annual conference in Washington this week, U.S. Continue reading App tests broadband levels at Brownfield Ag News.
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An Iowa farmer says small farms and communities need fewer ag consolidations and less farm program money going into large corporate farm accounts.   Jerry Rosman from southwestern Iowa is a farmer and a feed commodities hauler.  He’s concerned about the disappearance of rural farms and communities because of consolidation. Rosman says, “As agriculture consolidates down tighter and tighter, and the farms get bigger and bigger, then all of a sudden the school is gone, the grocery store is gone, the local ag supply? Continue reading Iowa farmer seeks reforms & fewer consolidations at Brownfield Ag News.
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A cattle rancher sees a silver lining to the record snowfall Minnesota received in February. Miles Kuschel operates a beef cow/calf herd in the north-central part of the state and says gray wolves have been feasting on deer this winter. “I really feel bad for the deer out there (as wolves) have been decimating the herd. But as far as the cattle goes, they haven’t taken any.” Kuschel has lost cattle to wolf attacks in the past, but tells Brownfield the worst occurrence has been a pack circling (and) harassing a herd. Continue reading Heavy snow results in few wolf attacks on livestock at...
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The government spending deal that’s being worked on before Friday’s shutdown deadline is likely a blow to the biodiesel industry, “All indications at this point are that there’s unlikely to be any extraneous items including tax extenders like the biodiesel tax credit.” Kurt Kovarik is the National Biodiesel Board’s federal affairs director. He tells Brownfield Ag News there’s a lack of urgency in Congress for reviving it , “We’re hearing stories of plants reducing capacity which ultimately leads to the purchase of less feed stock which means lower prices for commodities for farmers and then layoffs at plants.” Continue reading No extension...
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Ag News

Brazil has agreed to ease trade barriers for U.S. wheat, pork and beef.  The U.S. will now be allowed to export 750,000 tons of wheat tariff free to Brazil and the ban on U.S. pork imports has been lifted.  U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers are applauding the measure.  Steve Mercer with U.S. What Associates tells Brownfield Brazil originally agreed to a tariff rate quota when they joined the World Trade Organization 24 years ago but has only sporadically upheld its commitment. Continue reading Brazilian ag trade expanding at Brownfield Ag News.
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For the second time, a California jury has decided a man’s cancer was caused by a glyphosate-based weed killer.  The six-person jury deliberated a full week, ruling Roundup was a significant factor in plaintiff Edwin Hardeman developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  Hardeman used the product for 26 years to control weeds and poison oak on his property. Unlike an earlier trial, the Hardeman vs. Bayer’s Monsanto unit was separated into two phases.  The first phase focused on if glyphosate is carcinogenic.  The second phase will now look at what punitive damages might be assessed against Bayer. Continue reading Another jury rules glyphosate caused cancer at Brownfield Ag News.
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USDA Trade Undersecretary Ted McKinney says progress is being made in U.S.-China trade talks even though a deal won’t be announced this month. “We need a little bit more time,” he says. “We’re making progress- all of us across all these chapters, but we’re going to have to go a little past March the 30th to get this where we can confidently say we have both parties a good package.” He says a trade deal will include enforcement language to hold China accountable. Continue reading Progress being made in U.S.-China talks despite delay in announcing deal at Brownfield Ag News.
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Flooding near Fremont, Nebraska (photo courtesy Nebraska Governor’s office) USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says this week’s historic flooding in Nebraska, Iowa and other states could be just a taste of what many areas across the country might be in for this spring. “We’ll be talking about flooding in various parts of the country for at least the next several weeks,” Rippey says. He says the Dakotas and parts of Minnesota could be next. Continue reading USDA meteorologist: ‘I think planting delays are inevitable.’ at Brownfield Ag News.
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