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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - Feb. 8, 2019

USDA moving on farm bill implementation, proso millet genome has been sequenced and Tyson may buy Foster Farms.

Missed some ag news this week? Here’s a quick catch-up.

1. USDA is working “quickly and prudently” to implement the new farm bill with all the agencies in the process of evaluating the farm bill and establishing the steps necessary to implement the new provisions. The rollout of the updated dairy management program is the priority, followed by Average Revenue Coverage and Price Loss Coverage program signups. - Feedstuffs

2. Hemp and hops are promoted as alternative crops in Florida’s eastern Panhandle, an area devastated Hurricane Michael. The need for alternatives is particularly acute in the timber industry, which suffered more than $1.28 billion of the storm losses. Holly Bell, a former banker and cannabis consultant, has been tapped to serve as the state’s cannabis director.  – Herald-Tribune, Orlando Sentinel

3. Doug Bichler became a farm accident statistic on June 26, 2017, when he lost his arm in a baler accident. Every day, an average of 243 agricultural workers suffer a serious lost-work-time injury. Five percent of those injuries result in permanent impairment, according to the National Ag Safety Database. – Dakota Farmer

4. Proso millet could become a key crop in water-limited areas now that its genome has been sequenced. Proso millett is able to grow with less water per bushel produced than any other cereal crop, even on poor-quality land.- Nebraska Farmer

5. Tyson Foods may buy privately owned Foster Farms for roughly $2 billion. The two sides have not reached an agreement on price and the talks may fall apart. A deal is likely weeks away. – CNBC

6. Paul Mitchell, University of Wisconsin-Madison ag economist, said dairy gross revenue fell 7.1% in 2018 compared to 2017. Net farm income for Wisconsin farmers declined 6% and Wisconsin lead the national in Chapter 12 bankruptcies from Oct. 1, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2018. – Wisconsin Agriculturalist

7. There’s been a decline in global crop diversity since the 1990s. A University of Toronto study finds that large farms in Asia, Europe, North and South America are going the same crop species. Soybeans, wheat, rice and corn are grown on nearly 50% of the world’s agricultural lands while the remaining 152 crops cover the rest. - Science Daily

And your bonus.

A former World War II air raid shelter in London has been converted into an underground farm. – euronews.com

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