Vibrio vulnificus thrives in warm water: Three cases of a deadly flesh-eating bacteria have been confirmed recently in Mobile County, Ala., two from going into Gulf of Mexico waters with open wounds and one from eating raw oysters. The common factor is the pathogen Vibrio vulnificus, which is more common in Gulf waters when temperatures rise (leading to the folk wisdom that you shouldn’t eat raw oysters in months that don’t end with “r”). Scientists at the National Weather Service and NOAA are keeping a close eye on the Gulf’s rising water temperatures, which can contribute to fiercer hurricanes as well as flourishing pathogens. Read more HERE and HERE.

Blue-green algae in water kills six animals: Drought conditions in Montana and the Dakotas have facilitated the growth of Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, which can produce toxins harmful to livestock, wildlife, and people. Algae blooms in North Dakota have tested positive for toxic cyanobacteria production and have led to the death of at least six animals. Blue-green algae often occurs in stagnant ponds or dugouts with elevated nutrient levels, forming large colonies that appear as scum on or just below the water surface. Toxicity is dependent on the species consuming the water, the concentration of the toxin or toxins, and the amount of water ingested. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

Don’t say you weren’t warned: If you’re not taking cyber security seriously, it’s time to start. Snack food giant Mondelez International, based in the Chicago suburb of Deerfield, says a recent cyber attack will cut into its second quarter revenue growth, with a preliminary estimate of a 3 percent slice off revenue growth for the quarter. Mondelez’s stock declined nearly 2 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement. The company was among hundreds hit on June 27, compromising its ability to ship and invoice during the last four days of the quarter. READ MORE 

Watch out for gas station skimmers: An alert metro Atlanta woman noticed a skimmer, which steals bank card information, at a gas station outside Newnan. This news report gives important tips about what to look for. WATCH VIDEO 

FOOD SECURITY

Planning for heat waves: As the planet becomes hotter, drier, and more crowded, planning for and mitigating the effect of heat waves on beef cattle production and mortality will become increasingly important to national and global food security. The greatest concentration of cattle on feed in North America is in the Texas Panhandle area, followed by the upper Central Plains states. Both areas face climbing temperatures. READ MORE

Black flies processed for animal nutrition: Bühler Insect Technology and its partner Protix will build their first industrial plant to process black soldier flies for animal nutrition in the Netherlands. The company is billing its protein product as more sustainable than corn, rice, wheat or soybeans as a feed ingredient as global population increases and the need for food and feed grow accordingly. READ MORE

Olive harvest may be devastated: Spanish officials have confirmed the arrival of Xylella fastidiosa, a pathogen deadly to olive trees, on the country’s mainland. About half the world’s olive oil comes from Spain’s estimated 340 million olive trees, and experts fear the bacteria could devastate the harvest. Up to a million olive trees in Italy were killed by the infection last year, leading Italian officials to chainsaw trees to the ground in an effort to stop the sickness. READ MORE

Drought threatens cattle health: The upper Midwest’s dry to drought conditions have changed stocking rates, challenged pasture rotation schedules, hastened the  end-grazing date, and limited cow and calf condition scores. Producers need to work through the present and take steps to minimize  the effects of this year’s drought on next year’s production. READ MORE

And key crop production areas: According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, only about 22 percent of the U.S. is experiencing some level of drought. However, several key crop production areas are affected, including significant portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. READ MORE

But milk prices will be stable: The Dairy Margin Protection Program (MPP) is a federal program establishing a baseline price for milk, which helps to limit losses and stabilize income for dairy farmers when costs rise. The MPP maintains a safe and secure supply of U.S.-produced milk and dairy products (which includes infant formula as well as butter, cream, cheese, and ice cream). Before establishment of the federal MPP, the dairy industry suffered through dramatic boom-and-bust cycles, with corresponding periods of milk surplus and shortage. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently raised the 11-year dairy baseline to $839 million. That money can be used to fund both the MPP and the Dairy Donation Program, a related program that allows USDA to buy milk to support dairy margins and then donate the milk to those in need. READ MORE