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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - July 17, 2020

CFAP payments reach $5.8 billion, 1.2 acres accepted for CRP Grasslands and Burger King adds lemon grass to cow rations.

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

1. As of July 13, 409,423 applications have been approved for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and $5.8 billion has been paid. More than half of the funds have gone to livestock producers, with $2.97 billion spent and 293,513 approved and enrolled applications. Iowa leads all other states with the most approved applications, at 38,578. Iowa producers have received the most in payments, too, with $618.3 million in CFAP payments. – Farm Futures

2. Microsoft is partnering with Land O'Lakes to build an AgTech platform that will use artificial intelligence to help farmers plan their crop cycles, protect their soil and harvest more grain. The companies will also try to increase broadband access in rural areas and make it easier for farmers to get credit for carbon removal. – WIRED

3. More than 1.2 million acres were accepted for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands during the signup period that began March 16 and ended May 15. Through CRP Grasslands, farmers and ranchers can protect grasslands, rangelands and pastures while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices. Participants will receive an annual rental payment and may receive up to 50% cost-share for establishing approved conservation practices. The duration of the CRP contract is 10 or 15 years. – Dakota Farmer

4. P. Stephen Baenziger, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor and wheat growers presidential chair in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, received a three-year grant through USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant program to study the potential to improve wheat productivity through the development of hybrid wheat varieties. – Nebraska Farmer

5. A long empty Super Target in Illinois will be converted to a farm that can produce 25 million pounds of greens a year for local supermarkets and restaurants. The $40 million vertical farm will employ 80 people. – NWI Times

6. A Kansas State University research team, headed by Megan Niederwerder, assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has just published a new study, "Mitigating the risk of African swine fever virus in feed with antiviral chemical additives," in the scientific journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. This study provides the first evidence that feed additives may be effective tools against African swine fever. – Kansas Farmer

7. Burger King has added lemon grass to the diet of the cows that become its burgers in an attempt to limit bovine contributions to climate change. By changing the rations, Burger King said it believes it can reduce a cow's daily methane emissions by about 33%. – AP

And your bonus.

Pennsylvania offers a tax incentive that's designed to encourage young people to farm. The $59 million Beginning Farmer Tax Credit is designed to help beginning farmers grow their operations. – Trib Live

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