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Industry News

Read coverage of current events and news affecting dairy producers and the industry.

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Editor’s note: The following news summaries highlight activity by groups that are interested in and working towards dairy reform.

Former Specter-Casey Bill to be reintroduced
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The Progressive Agriculture Organization recently confirmed it is working with other producers to see that a failed dairy reform bill from the previous session of Congress is re-introduced this year.

The bill, known then as S1645 or the Specter-Casey Bill, would change how raw milk at the farm level is priced and would make it reflective of a national average cost of production and impose supply management. Arden Tewksbury, manager of the Pennsylvania-based organization, said that Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA) was reviewing the bill and preparing to reintroduce it.

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Recent estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) indicate that the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States has remained unchanged at roughly 11 million since 2009.

This comes after a two-year decline of approximately one million that corresponded closely to the most recent recession, which ran from December 2007 to June 2009.

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Mercy for Animals, an animal rights group, posted a video last year that focused on what it said were six main issues of animal abuse at the Willet Dairy in Genoa. However, two investigations of animal abuse at Cayuga County’s largest farm have found the farm has done nothing illegal and no criminal actions were taken against the farm, reports The Post-Standard.

The Cayuga County district attorney’s office and the Finger Lakes Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigated the Willet Dairy in Genoa. Both reports found no systemic abuse of cattle, and all dairy and care practices were above the industry standard.

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With the vast snows of the winter still mostly on the ground and more precipitation expected, some livestock producers might have concerns about the capacity of their manure storage systems.

That’s according to South Dakota Cooperative Extension Environmental Quality Engineer/Specialist Erin Cortus, who said the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has put together a fact sheet on manure management-system practices for wet weather conditions.

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With global challenges mounting, it is a crucial time to examine the role research plays in our economic, social and political well-being. In this new Commentary from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Investing in a Better Future through Public Agricultural Research, a team of respected scholars provides objective, science-based insights into the state of U.S. investments in public agricultural research.

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Part of a relatively new state program aimed at preserving farmland would be eliminated under Gov. Scott Walker's budget to help erase Wisconsin's $3.5 billion deficit over the next two years.

Proponents of the program say the move by Walker would deal a severe blow to efforts to permanently protect agricultural land from development.

Walker's 2011-'13 budget proposal recommends eliminating the purchase of agricultural conservation easements program and $12 million in borrowing that was approved in 2009 to help fund the program.

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