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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - Aug. 21, 2020

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Drought in New Hampshire, COVID-19 impact on ag, derecho in Iowa and cover crops among news of week.

Missed some ag news this week? Here are seven stories to catch you up.

1. More than one-fifth of New Hampshire is now experiencing severe drought. More than 49% of the state is in a moderate drought. The rest of the state, about 30% of the land area, is experiencing abnormally dry conditions. The dry conditions have reduced crop yields. – WMUR

2. Farmers say they will likely use Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments to pay down long-term debt, according to a mid-July Farm Futures survey. This year's farm balance sheets are forecast to show the highest debt-to-asset ratio for the farm sector since 2003. – Farm Futures

3. In Washington, Gov. Jay Inslee is ramping up coronavirus testing requirements for agricultural workers. There is concern the disease will spread among the farm labor force, which will swell in the weeks ahead as the apple harvest proceeds. – Seattle Times

4. President Donald Trump visited Iowa Tuesday to view the impact of the derecho that blew through the state on Aug. 10. The derecho left a path of destruction from southeastern South Dakota to western Ohio, traversing 770 miles in 14 hours. – Farm Futures

5. The 2019-2020 National Cover Crop Survey was released this week. The survey was completed by 1,172 farmers representing every state. The survey included commodity and horticultural producers. The two top reasons producers gave for planting cover crops were to improve soil structure or soil health and to improve weed management. – Wisconsin Agriculturalist

6. COVID-19 has struck mink farms in the United States. COVID-19 infections in mink have been documented in Demark, the Netherland and Spain. There are at least 245 mink farms in 22 states. The first case in the U.S. was reported on a Utah farm. – Science Magazine

7. A study, published in the journal Crop Science, found public breeding programs are seeing decreases in funding and personnel. In addition, more than a third of the programs that responded to the survey have leaders older than 60. – Western Farmer Stockman

And your bonus.

Entrepreneur Raj Peter Bhakta bought the Green Mountain College campus for $4.8 million. He plans to use the campus for agriculture. The campus includes 155 acres and several historic buildings. Bhakta founded WhistlePig, a rye whiskey maker. The college closed in spring 2019. It had received a $20 million USDA loan. – Vt Digger

TAGS: Farm Life
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