Associated Press

Wild duck with avian influenza found in Utah

Utah wildlife officials reported a mallard duck was the third waterfowl in the state with avian influenza since December, said the Associated Press.

Idaho ‘ag-gag’ law violates U.S. constitution, judge rules

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that an Idaho law that bans secret filming of animal abuse on farms is unconstitutional, said the Associated Press.

Looking for a mechanical hired hand for chile harvest

With plantings on the decline and fewer farmworkers available, two mechanical harvesters are being tested on the chile pepper crop in New Mexico, says the Associated Press.

One defendant freed in seed-corn theft case

U.S. Judge Stephanie Rose dismissed charges against a Chinese woman, Mo Yun, accused of conspiring to steal trade secrets from U.S. seed companies, said the Associated Press.

Stringent biosecurity crucial in preventing bird flu, says USDA

In an updated report on the worst-ever bird flu epidemic to infect U.S. poultry flocks, the government says "comprehensive and stringent biosecurity practices remain crucial to reducing the risk of HPAI [highly pathogenic avian influenza] infection."

U.S. appeals court upholds Chesapeake Bay “pollution diet”

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Philadelphia, upheld the EPA's "pollution diet" intended to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay, affirming a 2013 ruling by a U.S. district judge.

FDA sets three-year phase-out for trans fats in food

Foodmakers will have three years to phase out the use of partially hydrogenated oils, the primary source of artificial trans fats, said the Food and Drug Administration. The agency said "a thorough review of the scientific evidence" showed the materials should not be part of the diet. The agency tentatively ruled in 2013 that artificial trans fats should be banned. It said it finalized that determination after considering public comments on the issue.

First Minnesota farm hit by bird flu resumes production

The turkey farm that suffered the first outbreak of avian influenza in Minnesota is back in production, says the Associated Press. The Pope County farm was re-stocked with fowl on Sunday.

U.S. judge nullifies Maui County ban on GMO crops

A voter-approved ban on crops containing genetically modified organisms in Maui County, Hawaii, was invalidated by a federal judge, says the Associated Press.

Retail egg prices sharply higher, up 42 percent in a week

The U.S. average egg price in grocery stores zoomed by 55 cents a dozen for Grade A Large eggs from the preceding week, a 42-percent increase, said the USDA weekly retail report. Egg prices are rising as a result of the worst avian influenza epidemic ever to hit U.S. poultry flocks. Stores sold a dozen Grade A Large eggs for $1.87, compared to $1.32 a dozen in the week ending June 5.

Arkansas bill: Burden our farmers, we’ll ban your wine

The Arkansas House passed a bill "that outlaws wine imports from any state that imposes a 'substantial burden' on the Arkansas agriculture industry," says the Associated Press.

USDA pays $72 million to farms in bird-flu indemnities

The government has paid $71.9 million to producers as indemnities for poultry flocks that were victims of the worst epidemic of avian influenza ever to hit the United States.

Minnesota clears the way for some industrial hemp

Minnesota legislators have approved cultivation of industrial hemp in the Gopher State, says the Associated Press...

Bill for voluntary GMO labeling to be unveiled today

Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo called a news conference for today to unveil a bill that would block states from requiring special labels on food made with genetically modified organisms, and keep labeling voluntary on the federal level.

Is North Dakota’s “ham and cheese” farm exemption too big?

The largest farm group in North Dakota will decide next week whether to seek a statewide referendum against the so-called ham-and-cheese exemptions to a state law against corporate farming, says the Associated Press.

Ohio lawmakers aim to reduce nutrient runoff from farms

The Ohio House and Senate are expected to vote this week on legislation intended to reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie by reducing farm runoff, says the Associated Press.

Widely used herbicide glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic”

The herbicide glyphosate, widely used in U.S. crop production, especially for genetically engineered corn and soybeans, is "probably carcinogenic to humans," says the specialized cancer agency of the UN World Health Organization. The herbicide is known under the brand name RoundUp in the United States. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed glyphosate and four other organophosates on the recommendation of an advisory committee that dozens of pesticides should be examined because...

California leaders propose $1 billion in drought relief

Gov. Jerry Brown and California legislative leaders proposed a $1 billion drought-relief package as the state enters its fourth year of drought. The pair of bills includes $128 million to alleviate the impact of drought...

If you’re going small, “the more specialized you have to be”

While the average age of U.S. farmers and farm size is rising, the tale of young people returning to farm on a small scale "is more common than we think," economist Kent Olson tells the nonprofit Minnesota Post in a story that looks at two young farm couples.

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