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POLICY

Listening sessions are underway for a new farm bill. What needs to be there and what doesn't?
A farm bill listening session was held in Northfield by the House agriculture subcommittee on commodities on July 25.
The Minnesota Legislature this year approved $500,000 for down payment assistance for emerging farmers to get on land of their own.
The Midwest Agriculture Summit was held in Fargo where attendees listened to policy makers speak on current agriculture issues and challenges.

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The Red River Valley Water Supply Project will sue farmland owners for eminent domain if they don’t sign easements before July 8, 2022. Farmers say the project is paying one-tenth what others pay for far smaller oil, gas and water pipelines.
The announcement comes as fair season begins. Highly pathogenic avian influenza has affected almost 3 million birds on Minnesota farms in 2022.
A series of April blizzards created a “long tail” of cattle illnesses, including pneumonia and scours. Losses range from zero to hundreds of calves, on top of record-setting drought and low feed and forage supplies. The numbers hide some of the effects — the loss in value when either a calf or a cow is lost, leaving orphans. 
Small meat processors were thrust into the spotlight early in the COVID pandemic and now are benefitting from grants and programs to help them expand. Jenniges Meat Processing in Brooten, Minnesota, is a prime example.
The decision means carbon pipeline companies must file for a siting permit with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Without statewide authority, permitting would have been left up to individual counties along the pipeline route.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux and other officials visited Minnesota farms on May 19 to take a look at the damage from the storm that blew through a week before. High winds ripped apart grain bins and mangled irrigation and other equipment as well as damaging houses and other buildings.

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In January, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was restricting the use of a herbicide in six Minnesota counties out of concern for an endangered species, a species it chose not to make public. Before the calendar could flip to April, EPA had reversed those restrictions as well as even wider herbicide bans because of an insect called the American burying beetle. So what was behind the initial secretiveness? Why the sudden reversal?
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, S.D., are moving a bill in the Senate, designed to pressure international ocean freight companies to fill freight “containers” with agricultural products instead of sending them back to Asia empty. Rick Brandenburger, president of Richland Innovative Food Crops Inc., Inc., of Breckenridge, Minnesota, says the company is getting only one-third of their needed containers. They want “teeth” in any efforts to fix the problem.
The Environmental Protection agency says it relies on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but information from that agency and other snake experts seem to contradict what EPA says.

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