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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - May 3, 2019

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An update on African swine fever, AFBF commissions mental health survey and growing popularity of conservation agriculture.

Missed some agricultural news this week? Here are seven stories you might have missed.

1. African swine fever has been reported across 28 provinces in China, resulting in the culling of hogs. USDA estimated in April that Chinese hog production will decline by 134 million head this year, which is equivalent to the entire annual output of American hogs. This could lead to a 41% jump in pork imports. Already, wholesale pork prices in China are 27% higher than a year ago. – Bloomberg

2. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is asking President Trump to declare 13 Missouri counties a disaster as a result of the 2019 spring flooding. Initial assessments put the damage to the state’s infrastructure and emergency response costs at $25 million. The assessment does not include all the damage to farms and ranches. – Missouri Ruralist

3. R-CALF USA and four cattle-feeding ranchers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court in Chicago, alleging the nation's four largest beef packers violated U.S. antitrust laws, the Packers and Stockyards Act, and the Commodity Exchange Act by unlawfully depressing the prices paid to American ranchers. – Kansas Farmer

4. USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program. – Wallaces Farmer

5. Nearly half of rural adults surveyed in a recent poll say they are experiencing more mental health challenges this year than they were a year ago and 65% say embarrassment would be an obstacle if they were seeking help or treatment for a mental health condition. Morning Consult conducted the poll of 2,004 rural adults between April 4 and April 10, 2019 on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation. – American Farm Bureau Federation

6. A growing number of farmers in the United Kingdom are steering clear of the plow in favor of what they call conservation agriculture, which includes keeping the soil covered with crops all year and growing a wide variety of plants. – The Guardian

7. Gene and Craig Stehly have adopted many conservation practices over their 40-year farming career. They began no-tilling to save money in the 1980s and found it conserved moisture and stopped erosion. They monitor their soil organic matter and nutrients through grid sampling. They were recently honored with the Legacy Award by the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.  – Dakota Farmer

And your bonus.

The Australian farm owned by singer-actress Olivia Newton-John is listed for sale for $3.9 million. The four-bedroom, three-bath, French-style home in New South Wales includes 187 acres. The farm includes rolling pastures, a rain forest with a natural waterfall, two dams and a creek running through the property. – Idaho Statesman

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