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Harvard buys up water rights in drought-hit wine country

Harvard buys up water rights in drought-hit wine country

Harvard University has quietly become one of the biggest grape growers in California’s drought-stricken Paso Robles wine region, securing water well drilling permits to feed its vineyards days before lawmakers banned new pumping, according to records reviewed by Reuters.


Brazilian meats processor looks to expand in Asia

Brazil’s BRF SA, the world’s biggest chicken exporter, aims to expand further into Asia by building on a recent Indonesian joint venture with more partnerships and acquisitions, a top executive says.

Livestock disaster aid deadline is Jan. 30

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30 deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.

Butterfield Foods files reply to HSUS allegations

Officials of a chicken slaughter plant in southwest Minnesota say they have filed an official response to allegations they fail to completely kill chickens before removing their feathers with scalding water.

USDA surveys organic farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is surveying organic farmers, and producers must respond by mail by Feb. 13 or online by April 3. The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Society of Spring Valley, Wis., says the survey is a follow-up to USDA’s 2012 Census of Agriculture, which found that total organic product sales by American farms and ranches increased 83 percent since 2007.

Food derived from ND soybeans in high demand in Japan

Soon after Bob Sinner started doing business in Japan in the early 1990s, he was introduced to a soy food called natto. It wasn’t necessarily a pleasant introduction.

Nigeria H5N1 bird flu now in 7 states, suspected in 140,000 birds

An outbreak of H5N1 bird flu in Nigeria has spread to 21 commercial farms in seven different states, with more than 140,000 birds having been exposed to the virus, the agriculture minister says. Authorities say the deadly virus had arrived in Lagos, in the southwest, and Kano, in the north, last week.

Farm drones remain grounded

The use of drones in the agriculture industry may not get off the ground, according to a farm industry leader. Paul Gunderson, director of the Dakota Precision Ag Center, spoke on the topic Tuesday at the Precision Ag Action Summit in Jamestown. The Dakota Precision Ag Center is located at Lake Region State College at Devils Lake and does testing and research on technologies related to precision agriculture.

Minn. ignores 2007 meatpacker rights law

A Minnesota state department has not followed a law to notify meatpacking plants and workers about protections the state provides. Pointing to a bookshelf full of Minnesota laws, Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles says, “one of them sort of got lost.”

Beefing up cancer care

Considering the care they received when cancer affected their lives, Roger and Jan Torkelson knew they wanted to give back. And with cattle being a part of their lives for more than two decades, making a donation through a new cattle program to help others made a lot of sense, as well.

UN: Food diversity under siege from global warming

Climate change threatens the genetic diversity of the world’s food supply, and saving crops and animals at risk will be crucial for preserving yields and adapting to wild weather patterns, a U.N. policy paper says.

ND PSC shuts down Grand Forks Bean Co.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission on Jan. 16 issued a cease and desist order against Grand Forks (N.D.) Bean Co. The agency says it plans to ask a district judge to name the PSC as trustee for the company, on grounds that it is insolvent.

New outbreak of avian flu found in Washington state

A third outbreak of avian flu has been detected in Washington state, prompting agriculture officials on Tuesday to warn bird owners to keep their flocks away from migratory birds that have spread viruses from Oregon to British Columbia.

WATCH: A sneak peek into the next issue of Agweek

WATCH: A sneak peek into the next issue of Agweek

Editor Lisa Gibson talks about what we're working on for the Jan. 26 issue of Agweek, including a cover story on federal wolf protection and how it affects ranchers, coverage of the Precision Ag Summit and much more.


Ohio farmer: Precision ag pays

Ohio farmer: Precision ag pays

Most farmers attending a Precision Agriculture Summit instinctively believe precision agriculture pays, but when one of their own puts a pencil to it, they take notice. Brian Watkins is on the eastern edge of the corn and soybean belt and was one of the early adopters of variable-rate application technologies.

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