Invasive tick finds foothold in New Jersey

Late last year, federal authorities announced the presence of an exotic East Asian tick species on a New Jersey sheep farm. The state’s Department of Agriculture has now confirmed that Haemophysalis longicornis — also known as the longhorned tick — has successfully overwintered and possibly has become established in the state. No paywall

Appeals court sides with ranchers on Montana beef checkoff

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s 2017 injunction against the collection of the Montana state beef checkoff in a decision released Monday. The ruling supports ranchers’ claim that the state's beef checkoff program impinges on their First Amendment rights by obligating them to pay taxes to support “private speech.” As the case between the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) and the Department of Agriculture unfolds, it has greater implications for checkoff programs in other states. No paywall

Congress exempts large livestock farms from reporting air pollution

In a step that overrides an appellate court decision, Congress included a provision in the $1.3 trillion government funding bill that exempts an estimated 200,000 large livestock farms from reporting emissions coming from manure and other animal waste. Hog, cattle and poultry groups said the exemption means farms won't be treated like Superfund sites that create dangerous air pollution.

Another Missouri community fights the CAFO-expansion trend

Residents of tiny Lone Jack, MO, are fighting a proposal by a local ranch to expand its feedlot from around 600 cows to nearly 7,000. It is the latest in a series of communities pushing back against a national trend toward concentrated animal agriculture. (No paywall)

From the lungs of cows to the lungs of premature babies

The meatpacking industry is famed for using all parts of the animal except the oink or the moo. Even by that standard, a tiny Canadian pharmaceutical company, BLES Biochemicals, does the industry one better, by collecting an off-white foam — a pulmonary surfactant — from the lungs of cattle at a slaughterhouse for eventual use in helping premature babies breathe, reports Stat, the medical news site.

Cattle group asks USDA to set label rules for lab-grown meat

The U.S. Cattlemen's Association petitioned the USDA to establish label requirements for laboratory-grown meat and alternative proteins, said the weekly Tri-State Livestock News, of Belle Fourche, S.D. "We look forward to working with the agency to rectify the misleading labeling of 'beef' products that are made with plant or insect protein or grown in a Petri dish," said USCA president Kenny Graner.

Coalition urges Iowa legislators to end new factory farm development

A coalition of 55 environmental, agricultural, and food-safety organizations signed a letter urging the Iowa General Assembly pass a moratorium on new and expanded factory farm development in the state. Iowa currently houses nearly 23 million hogs, a record for the state and the highest number in the country.

USDA says it will kill its welfare rule for livestock on organic farms

Eleven months into the Trump administration, the Agriculture Department decided it lacks statutory authority to implement the livestock welfare rules that is wrote for organic farmers, and will announce today that it is killing the regulation. Groups representing conventional agriculture cheered the decision, which was disclosed at the end of last week, while the organic industry and its allies in Congress said USDA disregarded public sentiment and "could damage a marketplace that is giving American farmers a profitable alternative."

Farm groups sue USDA in hopes of reviving GIPSA rule

In one of USDA's biggest decisions in the Trump era, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue killed the so-called GIPSA rule on fair play in livestock marketing. Two months later, the farm group Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed suit in the U.S. appeals court in St. Louis for reinstatement of the rule, issued in the closing weeks of the Obama administration.

Deadline arrives for livestock farms to report air pollution

Beginning on Wednesday, from 60,000 to 100,000 livestock and poultry operations will be required to report emissions of ammonia or hydrogen sulfide, said Drovers. The EPA previously exempted livestock farms from filing the reports but a federal court, in response to a lawsuit filed by environmentalists, vitiated the exemption.