A Nisland ranch family lost more than 300 ewes and yearling sheep when fire engulfed their lambing sheds early on Jan. 3. According to Stan Lewis, chief of Nisland-Arpan Volunteer Fire & Rescue, the fire was reported at 12:05 a.m. at the James Mickelson ranch, located two miles east of Nisland on Highway 212.
Meghan Arriola has had an East El Paso farm in her family for generations. During that time, one situation has happened a lot more than she’d like to see. “Out here on the farm we do experience dog attacks,” Arriola said. She told she understands how the owners of Licon Dairy feel after two dogs slaughtered 10 of their animals.
The cold of winter doesn’t stop all the external parasites that can torment livestock. While flies and ticks are mainly warm-weather pests, we still have lice to contend with in the winter. Lice are wingless insects that live on the skin of various species, including horses, cattle, sheep, goats and, of course, humans.
The farm bill signed into law by President Trump will impact agriculture in the Permian Basin, notably in algae production. The 800-page law passed on December 24th sets the country’s farm policy through 2023. Qualitas 60-acre algae farm is located in the town of Imperial in Pecos County, 30 miles outside of Fort Stockton. The farm has been testing and producing algae since 2013, according to the farm’s Director of Algae Production, Bart Reid.
The costliest natural catastrophes occurred in the United States in 2018 with one of California’s devastating wildfires and Hurricane Michael topping the list, according to Munich Re. A report from Munich Re on last year’s natural disasters pointed to “clear indications” that man-made climate change is a factor in California’s wildfires.
The Iowa crop insurance company that left hundreds of Nebraska farmers in the lurch last year after canceling their supplemental hail insurance policies has agreed to pay a $50,000 fine. Crop Pro Insurance Service of Johnston, Iowa, signed a consent order last month with the Nebraska Department of Insurance.
Arizona ranchers can now apply for grants as part of an effort to research measures that could prevent conflicts between livestock and Mexican gray wolves. The Arizona Game and Fish Department announced Thursday that the livestock loss board unanimously approved the grant program at its meeting in November. Arizona ranchers applying for the funds are required to provide a match either in cash or in-kind and/or third-party funds.
Colorado's farming and ranching communities are facing a season of economic losses, after summer drought dried up grass for cattle, killed crops and kept thousands of acres from being planted. Drought in Colorado has a widespread impact on an economy where tourism and recreation play important parts, with money-drawing activities like rafting, fishing and skiing. But when it comes to agriculture – a $40 billion industry that generates $7 billion in revenue for the state, ultimately a fraction of Colorado's GDP – Colorado is a state divided.
It has been a little more than a week since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law after passing in the House of Representatives earlier this month. Key points in the bill include certainty and stability to farm families for the next five years, upholding fiscal responsibility by being budget neutral and protecting crop insurance. It will fund needed trade development as well as investing in ag research and beginning farmer programs.
Illinois farmer Brent Johnson had planned to bump up his corn acreage by 10 percent in 2019 and plant fewer soybeans as a way to shelter himself from the lower soy prices caused by U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff war with China. But some early winter storms caused him to abandon the late autumn fieldwork necessary to seed the yellow grain in the spring. That will force him and other farmers to devote more of his acreage to soybeans than expected next year.
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