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Ag News

Ag News Roundup

September 20, 2016

Cropland Rent Surges in Idaho

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Services, Idaho beat national trends with farmland rents rising by 6.3 percent from 2015 to 2016. Nationally, cropland rents fell by 6 percent overall, including cropland in Oregon and Washington. Neither economists nor state leaders and farmers can explain the increase. According to the report, the average rate for irrigated Idaho cropland is estimated at $168 per acre.

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EPA Releases Private Information

In a ruling issued by the United States Court of Appeals, the EPA has been blamed for releasing personal information about farmers and ranchers who raise livestock and poultry in 29 states. The information was released in a spreadsheet, including home addresses, GPS coordinates, telephone numbers, and email addresses. The EPA, which has been ordered to remedy the situation, has blamed the information’s release on the Freedom of Information Act.

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College Students Find New Use for Kale

Students from Portland, Oregon based Lewis & Clark College have found a way to extract wax from kale leaves. According to the students, the wax can be used to waterproof a wide range of items. The team that developed the extraction process was part of a competition in Portland State University’s Cleantech Challenge that sees many agricultural applications and projects every year.

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Environmental Group Being Probed for Possible Violations

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission is investigating environmental group What’s Upstream amid allegations it did not properly file grass-roots lobbying reports. Save Family Farm says the group tried to influence state legislation through lobbying efforts. The EPA has already stopped funding What’s Upstream after federal lawmakers said the group’s marketing and political campaign violated prohibitions on using federal funds for lobbying purposes.

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Idaho Dry Bean Commission Impresses Costa Rican Contingent

From Capital Press, the Idaho Bean Commission is hoping Costa Rica will begin to purchase Idaho seed in the near future. Known as the national leader in dry bean seed production, the Idaho commission said the Costa Rican contingent was impressed with what that saw, visiting seed and plant pathology labs in Boise as well as University of Idaho research centers.

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