USDA Firm on Hemp Rules – February 7, 2020

Amid growing interest in hemp, USDA stands firm on rules


A lot of farmers will give industrial hemp a try this year, the first time cultivation is allowed nationwide, USDA officials predicted on Thursday. But they said there was no way they could allow more THC in hemp despite complaints that the limit of 0.3 percent is so low that some growers will be penalized unfairly for a “hot” crop.


Missouri peach farmer testifies about alleged dicamba damage


In the early 2000s, Bader Farms was the largest peach farm in Missouri, with annual yields averaging about 160,000 bushels. Fifteen years later, yields had dropped by more than 90 percent. Bill Bader blames dicamba, and now he’s suing its makers for millions of dollars in damages.


Trade war aid is slanted in favor of the South, says Stabenow

Farmers and ranchers are on their way to receiving $14.5 billion in trade war payments on their 2019 production, but that aid is skewed toward large farms and Southern states, said the senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday.

Talks & Eats – Manhattan – Surf ‘n’ Turf: Can our seafood survive Big Ag and climate change?

As oceans warm, our major fisheries are shifting. At the same time, farm runoff is contributing to dead zones from the Gulf of Mexico to Long Island. Both of these issues – climate change and farming practices – affect the health of ocean ecosystems and, ultimately, the seafood that winds up on our plates. Join moderator and best-selling author Paul Greenberg for a stimulating discussion Feb. 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m., at Subculture in Greenwich Village. VIP reception with drinks and bites beforehand.



Big Ag companies under investigation (Wall Street Journal): The Canadian Competition Bureau is investigating Bayer, Corteva, BASF, and other agrochemical companies for allegedly blocking sales to an Amazon-like startup that would sell farm inputs.


Dicamba complaints mount (NPR): Pesticide investigators across several states have been overwhelmed with complaints about dicamba damage to farms, orchards, vineyards, and home gardens.


Warning for Democrats (Mother Jones): If they don’t pay more attention to rural voters this election year, experts say, Democrats will repeat the disastrous results of 2016, when Hillary Clinton won just 34 percent of the rural vote.


China will cut tariffs on soy, other goods (New York Times): The Ministry of Finance said China would essentially halve its retaliatory tariffs on U.S. soybeans, cars, crude oil, and other goods, effective Feb. 14, a step toward carrying out the “phase one” trade agreement that calls for China to expand its purchases of U.S. products.


Corteva to stop making chlorpyrifos (Washington Post): In a victory for environmental and public health groups on the same day that California cut off sales of chlorpyrifos, Corteva said it would discontinue production of the insecticide by the end of this year.


Workers move from wine to weed (Foothills Sun Gazette): Cannabis growers are attracting workers with higher pay and shorter hours than vineyards offer in California’s wine country, “increasing tensions between these relative newcomers and the state’s long-established wine producers.”


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