Missed some ag news this week? Here are seven stories to catch you up.
The GMO fight
Mexico is holding up import permits for GMO corn, according to Reuters .. The government reportedly intended to apply a GMO ban to the grain used in animal feed.
National Farm Council President Juan Cortina said among hundreds of agricultural product import permits awaiting a resolution are at least eight for genetically modified corn even though the ban is not set to go into effect for three years.
“They’re not giving us extensions, there haven’t been any administrative changes, they just don’t respond,” said Cortina, referring to delays of up to two years from the health ministry’s sanitary protection agency COFEPRIS, responsible for approving the permits.
Farm Futures shared with you this week how a drought in the western states has been hitting farmers hard. That was true in a story out of Bismarck, North Dakota from KXMB-TV. A month ago, the ranchers in the Bismarck area waited in anticipation of green pastures. However, that didn’t happen and now the ranchers are forced to make the tough decision to sell the cattle they had hoped to turn out.
“Our situation is pretty dire and ugly,” says David Bohl.
A new tool is now available in the fight against feral hogs. Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller announced that HogStop can be used to fight the war.
According to recent reports, the feral hog population in Texas has grown to over 2.6 million. It is estimated that the feral hogs in Texas have been responsible for $52 million in damage.
HogStop is an all-natural contraceptive bait that targets the male hog’s ability to reproduce. HogStop is considered a 25(b) pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (“FIFRA”), which allows Texas to use it without registering the product.
Commissioner Miller thinks HogStop is a more humane way to curb the feral hog population in Texas and hopes that it is the answer to controlling the impact that feral hogs have on farmers and ranchers. More information about HogStop can be found at their website at www.hogstop.com.
A USDA ARS plant geneticist says wheat stripe rust is at a 20-year low in the Northwest.
The drought in the western part of the country has meant lower diseases but is also impacting the size of the crop.
"Overall, it's bad news for growers because of the lack of moisture," said Xianming Chen, plant research geneticist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Pullman, Wash. "Most fields we check, it looks quite dry."
Stripe rust needs moisture to spread and infect other plants, Chen said. Cold weather in February reduced the amount of rust that survived over the winter.
For more details, check out the story from Capital Press here.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army announced this week their intent to revise the definition of “waters of the United States.
The agencies claim a broad array of stakeholders are seeing “destructive impacts to critical water bodies under the 2020 rule established under the Trump administration.”
A grain robot?
Plus, all grain producers know the grain bin is a dangerous place. What if a robot could help reduce the danger? The Grain Weevil can do just that. It’s the idea of some farmers who were talking after church one day about the dangers to farmers.
The Grain Weevil a new 30-pound robot that helps level grain in the bin, to keep farmers from having to enter the bins. It can be transported by backpack, and it is waterproof and dustproof. If it gets buried in grain, it can dig itself out of up to 5 feet of grain.
And last, but not least, this story will have you smiling. A Border Collie mixed with a Red Heeler was lost when his family was involved in an accident near Spokane, Washington while traveling on an Idaho highway. The dog was launched through the rear window. But that didn’t stop this pooch from making the best out of a bad situation. During the rollover, the dog took off after the vehicle stopped. A search party was even formed to comb the area.
Then, a sheep farmer, Tyler Potter saw a post on Facebook about the dog and it clicked. The dog who had suddenly showed up saw on their family farm south of Rathdrum was the dog in the picture.
Both families think Tilly was drawn to the farm and their sheep and was trying to herd.