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Ag News | March 3, 2017

Ag News Roundup

Ag News Farmer Homesteader
In todays Ag News Roundup, drought damages estimated at over $700 million, additional egg labels not required, FARM Phase II begins, fish lawsuit dismissed, and further proof found between chemical compound and adult memory loss.

2015 Drought Caused Over $700 Million in Economic Damages

According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the 2015 drought is estimated to have caused $703 million in economic damages to Washington farmers. The report cited that the damages could have been as high as $733 million and the impact was far reaching. The crops that felt the biggest impact due to the drought were apples, cherries, feed corn, and hay. By activating emergency wells, farmers were able to minimize the damages.

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Egg Label Lawsuit Rejected

Two animal rights groups were recently denied a lawsuit that sought to require farmers label egg cartons with hen living conditions. The decision was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Additionally, the USDA and Federal Trade Commission have both rejected petitions from the groups citing lack of evidence needed to activate widespread regulations.

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Community College Building its Agriculture Program

Blue Mountain Community College is already looking to expand its agriculture program in Pendleton. Phase two of the Facility for Agricultural Resource Management (FARM) will expand animal sciences and veterinary classes. In addition, the community college will provide a new arena for its rodeo team. It’s hoped the next phase will bring high-end equestrian events to the city.

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Environmental Lawsuit Dismissed Moot

A lawsuit filed by the Alliance for Wild Rockies against several federal agencies that operate dams in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana, has been dismissed by a federal judge. The lawsuit alleged that 26 Northwest dams were dramatically affecting bull trout habitat and that agencies failed to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about the species.

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OSU Finds Links to Learning and Memory Issues

Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences have found that exposure to benzopyrene does impact adult memory and learning in zebrafish. The finding adds to the evidence that the chemical compound may cause intellectual and memory deficits in humans. Benzopyrene is formed as a result of most forms of combustion, such as a car engine, cigarette, or wood stove. The study was published in the journey Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

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