Colorado voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure to make free lunches available to all public school students. But voters in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, rejected a proposed ban on new slaughterhouses, and California voted down a proposed tax on the ultra-wealthy to pay for electric vehicle programs and wildfire prevention.
In Tuesday's elections, voters will decide several ballot initiatives on food and agricultural issues, including a ban on meat processing facilities in a South Dakota city and the expansion of universal school lunch to Colorado. California voters will determine the fate of a tax on high income earners to pay for green energy and for fighting wildfires, which have cost the state’s agricultural sector tens of millions of dollars.
More than 1.6 million turkeys have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two months, said USDA data on Thursday. The USDA listed eight new outbreaks, affecting 275,465 turkeys and boosting the U.S. total by 22 percent.
The government confirmed "high path" bird flu at three South Dakota turkey farms on Tuesday as the overall toll of this year's outbreaks of the viral disease topped 13.3 million birds. Fourteen farms in five states lost a total of 481,344 turkeys to highly pathogenic avian influenza since early February.
Drought in the northern Plains, increasingly important in corn and soybean production despite the region’s prominence as a wheat-growing region, may foil expectations of near-record U.S. corn and soybean harvests. North Dakota and South Dakota are parched as the planting season begins, …
As many as 18 percent of workers in meat and poultry plants are infected with the coronavirus in Iowa and South Dakota, while Pennsylvania and Nebraska account for one-quarter of the Covid-19 cases nationwide, said CDC scientists and state public health officials. The CDC released the report as Smithfield Foods, one of the giants of the meat industry, began to reopen a hog plant that was a coronavirus hot spot three weeks ago.(No paywall)
Under pressure from state and local officials, Smithfield Foods said that its mammoth pork plant in Sioux Falls "will remain closed until further notice" and suggested Covid-19 cases could jeopardize the U.S. food supply. The pork plant was linked to 38 percent of confirmed Covid-19 cases in South Dakota.(No paywall)
Futures prices for spring wheat soared 40 percent in a month and hit nearly $8 a bushel at the Minneapolis Grain Exchange on Monday, a four-year high, due to drought in the northern Plains, said the Wall Street Journal. The spring wheat prices, far above USDA's forecast of a season average $4.30 a bushel for this year's wheat crop, illustrate the demand for high-quality wheat despite a global glut.
South Dakota State University will launch the nation's first four-year degree in precision agriculture this fall, with a goal of educating "the next generation of innovators," reports AgWeb
U.S. corn plantings grew 10 percent in the past decade, driven by the commodity boom that began in 2006. Economist Gary Schnitkey says the expansion occurred mostly in the western Corn Belt, with North Dakota and South Dakota accounting for one-third of the increased U.S. acreage of 7.9 million acres.
In Brentwood, a "para-urban" community in Contra Costa County on the eastern outskirts of San Francisco, an amalgam of groups combines to keep 20,000 acres of farmland in production and out of subdivisions, office parks and strip malls, says Kristina Johnson at Civil Eats.
Crop scouts reported strong potential corn yields in southwestern Iowa and the northern half of Illinois as the annual Pro Farmer crop tour headed toward release today of an estimate of the U.S. corn and soybean crops.
Corn yields in Ohio and South Dakota are likely to be far above last year's levels, say scouts on the Pro Farmer crop tour. Their reports indicate a yield of 182.1 bushels an acre in Ohio and 152.7 bushels an acre in South Dakota.
The 2014 farm law ended the direct-payment subsidy and made crop insurance the major farm support. For most states, there is little difference in the state's share of the receipts.