agriculture

Farmers, ranchers and consumers lose on WTO COOL ruling

A U.S. law requiring the simple labeling of meat and poultry products for the country of origin (COOL) was determined to violate trade rules by a dispute panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) today.

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Welcome Jerseys

I am sure anyone who has tried to start their own business understands the struggle to stay on top of changes in the market. But when you farm you also have to stay on top of changing weather! My the past couple of years have been weird–long, long winters, super wet springs, cool summers, etc. At least this year we didn’t have the number of severe storms we had last year. But anyway you get the picture. While we are adding a hoop house this fall for our vegetable production we decided that it was time to branch out into meat production. You have already see our pigs. Now it is time to meet the cows.

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Harnessing sun, dew and grass

I was walking out to the chicken coop in the early morning, a pail of seeds and cracked corn swinging on my left and my right hand raised to shade my eyes. The sun, just a few degrees above the trees, hit the dew-drenched grass and sent spears of bright light into the air. It was like a white fireworks: busy, slightly chaotic, riotous.

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Joint committee seeks answer to rail congestion

(Photo by Paul Battaglia) Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle looks on as Dave Christianson, right, state rail plan project manager, comments during a joint hearing of House and Senate committees on the state's problems with freight rail congestion.

Minnesota’s clogged railways are negatively impacting farmers, miners, heavy industry and more, a joint House and Senate hearing heard Tuesday.

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Don't offer farmers and citizens to multinationals, stop TTIP and CETA

From France, which gave us the Rights of Man, we hear the call for the Rights of Citizens from French farmers who yesterday staged a sit-in at Cargill’s headquarters in Paris protesting proposed new free trade agreements. The second largest farmers’ union in France, Confédération Paysanne, unfurled a banner that read, “Holland, Juncker, Obama: Don’t offer farmers and citizens to multinationals, Stop TTIP and CETA.” They occupied the Cargill trading floor all day, until they received an appointment with the Secretary of State for French Foreign Trade, Mr. Matthias Fekl.

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Babe's new diet: Nanomaterials in animal feed

How much would you pay for a pork chop that was two percent leaner? Would you eat such a pork chop if nanoscale minerals were mixed into the hog feed to achieve that two percent reduction? Such questions are before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as it considers what to advise the animal feed and mineral supplement industry about their efforts to incorporate atomic- to molecular-sized materials into feed.

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Farming into the future: Hmong American Farm

“Farmers often work twelve-hour days,” Yao Yang explained. Having water available near the field is a big deal. That’s often not the case on rented fields, but it’s an important part of the Hmong American Farm. So are the simple washing sheds where they can prepare produce for market, and the cooler where produce can be stored until it’s picked up for delivery.

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Commodity markets flip-flop on consumers, rural Minnesotans

For several years running, livestock producers struggled with production costs as everything from droughts in cattle country to high feed costs in dairy, pork and poultry areas made producing profits a big challenge for farmers and ranchers.

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In historical move, MPCA orders EIS on proposed factory farm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board ruled this week that Riverview LLP’s proposed 8,850-cow dairy operation in Stevens County must undergo an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To my knowledge, this is the first time that the MPCA has ordered an EIS of a factory farm.

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Food for thought, pennies for farmers

For decades, my dad complained that people didn’t understand how little of the food dollar goes to the farmers who grow the food. Every time the farmer’s price went up — for milk or corn or pigs — the grocery store price went up by even more. When the farmer’s price went down, the grocery store price usually didn’t follow in that direction.

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