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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Australian Farmers rejoice as rivals export subsidies axed in trade deal - The West Australian

Farmers rejoice as rivals export subsidies axed in trade deal - The West Australian: The agreement between more than 160 members of the World Trade Organisation will see the immediate removal of subsidies by developed nations.

Developing nations will follow by 2018. National Farmers Federation president Brent Finlay said Australian farmers, whose exports are not subsidised, would be big winners from the first major agricultural deal in the WTO for more than 20 years.

From snowplowing to the call center, how Maine farmers survive the winter chill — Homestead — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

From snowplowing to the call center, how Maine farmers survive the winter chill — Homestead — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine: For Maine livestock farmers, the work continues year-round, no matter the weather. And for those with all-season greenhouses, it can as well. But while some farmers pour over seed catalogues in winter, planning for next season, others slip off the dirt-caked boots and enter the workforce when the ground freezes.

“Winter is always a hard time for people coming off of farm season. It can be stressful,” said farmer Bethany Allen, who runs Harvest Tide Organics in Bowdoinham.

Congress Eases Curbs on Foreign Real-Estate Investors - WSJ

Congress Eases Curbs on Foreign Real-Estate Investors - WSJ: Ever since the downturn, key players in the commercial real-estate industry have been trying to convince lawmakers to reverse a 1980s law that sought to curb foreign investors from scooping up U.S. property, saying it was a relic of a more protectionist era that discouraged investment.

US trumps Straya for Chinese property buyers - MacroBusiness

US trumps Straya for Chinese property buyers - MacroBusiness: President Barack Obama signed into law a measure easing a 35-year-old tax on foreign investment in U.S. real estate, potentially opening the door to greater purchases by overseas investors, a major source of capital since the financial crisis.

Contained in the $1.1 trillion spending measure that was passed to avoid a government shutdown is a provision that treats foreign pension funds the same as their U.S. counterparts for real estate investments. The provision waives the tax imposed on such investors under the 1980 Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act, known as FIRPTA.

Green Plate Special: Maine farms satisfy desires of oyster lovers and help the ocean, too - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Green Plate Special: Maine farms satisfy desires of oyster lovers and help the ocean, too - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram: Oysters are a delight anytime of year, but right about now, because they’ve packed on the glycogen stores they’ll need as energy to survive sitting in frigid Gulf of Maine waters all winter, they are particularly plump and sweet.

I’d never eaten so many mollusks as I have since moving to Maine three and a half years ago. It’s not just me. Friends who visit from all the other places I’ve lived: Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, England and, yes, France, want Maine oysters, too. After shucking literally hundreds of Bagaduce, Flying Points, Glidden Points, John’s River, North Havens, Taunton Bays and Pemaquids, I had to ask myself, just how many Maine oysters is too many to pull from the sea to be ecologically sound?

Land For Good wins grant to help new farmers find land in New England | masslive.com

Land For Good wins grant to help new farmers find land in New England | masslive.com: The non-profit�Land For Good has been awarded $641,000 to help beginning farmers who are trying to find land in New England, or who want to improve their tenure situation. The project will also help established farmers who want to transfer their properties to a new generation of farmers.

Four ways to support local agriculture this holiday season - New Jersey Herald -

Four ways to support local agriculture this holiday season - New Jersey Herald -: Even if the weather is not cooperating, the holiday season is upon us. As I type this article, I have not purchased the first gift.

If you are a procrastinator like me then perhaps you are starting to feel the anxiety of finding the "perfect gift" for that special someone who has everything, or who swears that they do not need anything. Although I cannot help you with your holiday shopping, here are a few suggestions courtesy of New Jersey agriculture.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York’s agriculture sales are outpacing all of the U.S. | Newsday

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York’s agriculture sales are outpacing all of the U.S. | Newsday: New York state is outpacing the U.S. as a whole when it comes to agricultural sales.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state’s sales from items such as dairy, fruit, vegetables and poultry and eggs have risen 36 percent since 2010. The national increase over the same period was 32 percent.

Drones may aid Virginia agriculture

Drones may aid Virginia agriculture: Agriculture officials are saying drones could be the wave of the future for the farming industry.

According to a release from the Virginia Farm Bureau, drones could�allow operators of large farms and producers of high-value crops to better identify and treat crop problems.

FarmBot is a DIY agriculture robot that promises to usher in the future of farming - Yahoo News

FarmBot is a DIY agriculture robot that promises to usher in the future of farming - Yahoo News: Precision farming has been hailed as the future of agriculture, sustainability, and the food industry. That’s why a�company called FarmBot is working�to bring precision agriculture technology to environmentally conscious individuals for the first time. The company’s first product –the FarmBot Genesis– is a do-it-yourself precision farming solution, that, theoretically, anyone can figure out.�The system�is already up to its ninth iteration, and the open source robot improves in each version thanks to input from the FarmBot community.

Cattle drive Montana's strong agriculture economy | Business | billingsgazette.com

Cattle drive Montana's strong agriculture economy | Business | billingsgazette.com: In Montana’s $3-billion-a-year agriculture economy, when markets are bullish, there are real cattle involved.

For the fifth year in a row, Montana calf sales are hotter than a red iron brand. Prices for quality calves are double what they were seven years ago. Analysts say there simply aren’t enough cattle to keep up with world demand for beef and likely won’t be for years. It hasn't been since the early 1950s when the U.S. Department of Agriculture record books showed fewer cattle.

Maine farmer travels 200 miles to sell wares, Christmas trees — Homestead — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Maine farmer travels 200 miles to sell wares, Christmas trees — Homestead — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine: Every week during Christmas tree season, Jim Buckle of Buckle Farm rises before dawn and begins the long journey — about 200 miles — south to Boston.

On the first miles, the country roads are narrow and quiet, the other traffic likely to be Amish buggies or bicycles, and the scenery largely limited to fields and forest. But as he gets closer to his destination, the bucolic views give way to the built-up infrastructure and the busy traffic of urban America. By the time the farmer gets to his ultimate destination — a parking lot in Jamaica Plain neighborhood in Boston — he is very far from home.

Farmland values fall in Iowa, but some Northwest Iowa counties buck trend

Farmland values fall in Iowa, but some Northwest Iowa counties buck trend: The reductions followed a statewide trend, as average values overall dropped by nearly 4 percent in 2015, the second straight year of decline, according to the survey.

Only seven counties showed increases in farmland values this year, and four of them are in Northwest Iowa, home to some of the state's most productive ground.

Dickinson, Lyon, O'Brien and Osceola each posted meager gains of 1.69 percent, according to the survey. Overall values this year slipped in eight of the state’s nine crop reporting districts, with Northwest Iowa being the exception.