Ag Risks Losing Gains – March 5, 2019

Ag ‘risks losing much of the trade gains achieved over the past three decades’

The U.S. food and agriculture sector would lose nearly $22 billion in exports, equal to 15 percent of this year’s sales forecast, if the United States scrapped NAFTA without a replacement on top of withdrawing from TPP, said three Purdue economists in a report on Monday.

Reporting on rural America: Pamela Dempsey talks about what’s missing.

On March 8th, I’ll be attending panel in Austin at SXSW on the challenge of  Reporting on Rural America Under Trump. In the lead-up to the event, I asked Pamela Dempsey, executive director at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, a non-profit newsroom that covers environment, agriculture, and energy in the Midwest, for her take, stay tuned …

Pigweed develops resistance to dicamba and 2,4-D

Researchers at Kansas State University have found pigweed that tolerates dicamba and 2,4-D, two herbicides that are often used to combat the invasive weed that can grow up to 10 feet tall.


Amazon’s next grocery move (Wall Street Journal): Amazon is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in major U.S. cities, starting with one in Los Angeles as early as the end of this year.

The consequences of bad prison food (Mother Jones): Prisons often serve the lowest possible quality food to their inmates. But the tactic, as well as being degrading and dehumanizing, may cost taxpayers more in the long run as inmates’ healthcare needs rise.

Asking for salmonella names (CSPI): The consumer group CSPI filed a freedom of information act request asking the USDA to identify the poultry processing plants whose products tested positive for strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella bacteria. The bacteria were tied to two recent outbreaks of food-borne illness.

Trying to avoid trade war losses (Sacramento Bee): So far, California growers have avoided the trade war wallop that hit Midwestern farmers but prices for specialty crops, California’s forte, are down substantially.

Immigrants spur rural growth (The Politic): Immigrants accounted for 37 percent of rural population growth this decade, whether it’s farm labor or healthcare professionals, and “inarguably helped revitalize dying towns, even saving some from collapse.”

Count on it, bees do math (CBS News): Honeybees are able to add or subtract, according to an experiment by researchers from Australia and France that used visual cues — yellow for subtraction and blue for addition — and gave a reward for the correct answer.

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