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7 ag stories you might have missed this week - Jan. 18, 2019

Trump speaks at AFBF, ag land values stay strong and the shutdown is impacting Florida citrus growers.

Need a quick catch up on the ag news of the week? Here’s seven ag stories you might have missed.

1. President Trump emphasized the need for border security with Mexico during his second speech to the members of the American Farm Bureau Federation gathered in New Orleans for their 100th annual convention. Trump brought Arizona rancher Jim Chilton on stage during his speech, with Chilton agreeing with the president. Farmers are standing by Trump despite lingering trade tensions. – Prairie Farmer, Politico

2. Researchers from the University of Illinois and USDA Agricultural Research Service reported in the journal Science that crops engineered with a photorespiratory shortcut are 40% more productive in real-world agronomic conditions. – Prairie Farmer

3. The volume of land for sale increased 21% in the Farmers National Company 28-state service area. Agricultural land values have remained strong in spite of lower commodity prices and lower farm incomes compared to five years ago. The 2018 Land Markets Survey by The Realtors Land Institute and National Association of Realtors Research Group showed a 2% year-over-year increase in land sales and a 2% increase in land prices between October 2017 and September 2018. – Nebraska Farmer

4. Thomas Tull purchased a farm west of Pittsburgh where he’s experimenting with technology for smaller farms. The goal, he said, is to create a “boutique, cutting-edge farm, enabled by technology, that produces great food.” – The New York Times

5. A Stockholm-based nonprofit seeking to improve the food system released a report which encourages a plant-based diet to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report encourages a diet rich in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. It encourages people to limit added sugars, refined grains including white rice and starches like potatoes and cassava. It says red meat consumption on average needs to be slashed by half globally. – Denver Post

6. Florida’s citrus growers were poised to finally get some disaster relief from the federal government, but the shutdown has put that on hold. The growers have not only been battered by hurricanes, but also diseases such as greening and canker. – Miami Herald

7. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Brazil’s agriculture minister Tereza Cristina Dias are sparring over deforestation. Dias has criticized Bundchen for “saying bad things about Brazil without knowledge of the facts.” - Reuters

And your bonus.

Hundreds of Minnesota farmers are expressing interest in growing hemp, which they see as a profitable crop at a time of low prices for traditional crops. The state’s hemp program coordinator is urging caution. – MPR

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