Lowndes County is a ‘canary in the coal mine’: There are times when you walk outside Hayneville, Alabama’s Family Dollar and smell the sewage, its stench hanging thick in the Black Belt air. Mary McDonald has seen schoolchildren steer their bikes through it, dark streams spider-webbing the cracked asphalt as rubber wheels splash through. Charlie Mae Holcombe has heard it, an ominous gurgle from her toilets and sinks after heavy spring rains. Holcombe and McDonald are just two of thousands of Alabamians living with inefficient or failing wastewater treatment systems — a problem that has persisted for decades in both rural and urban areas. READ MORE

TARIFFS

EU concessions: President Trump announced earlier this week that he has secured major trade concessions from European Union officials as part of an effort to head off a trade war between the U.S. and the E.U. Trump announced in a joint Rose Garden appearance that the delegation had agreed to increase imports of soybeans and liquefied natural gas. Both sides agreed to work toward the goal of “zero” tariffs and subsidies on non-auto industrial goods. READ MORE

EU would have imported more soybeans anyway: The European Union will import more U.S. soybeans as part of a new accord to avoid an all-out trade war. Yet the bloc was already likely to take more American shipments because the 25 percent tariff China slapped on U.S. soy imports earlier this month promises to reshape the global market for the commodity. READ MORE

Reactions mixed in farm country: Following USDA’s announcement to provide $12 billion in relief to farmers suffering financial harm from President Trump’s trade tactics, reactions to the deal among people in farm country are mixed, ranging from gratitude to skepticism. Nearly every trade group that released a statement about the aid package emphasized the need for trade agreements rather than subsidies. They note the aid is temporary, but will help farmers deal with bankers expecting loan payments. READ MORE

No farm profit this year? President Trump visited Dubuque, Iowa, where every year at harvest time, millions of tons of grain come via rail and truck to be loaded onto barges on the Mississippi River and shipped to Mexico, China and much of the rest of the world. Harvest puts coin into the hands of farmers, and they and their communities — indeed all of America — profit. Not this year. READ MORE

Pork industry hard hit: The pork industry has been one of the hardest hit by retaliatory tariffs by both China and Mexico—the two largest export markets for U.S. pork. U.S. pork, which began the year in expansion mode to capitalize on unprecedented global demand, now faces punitive tariffs on 40 percent of its exports, says theNational Pork Producers Council. “The restrictions we face in critical markets such as Mexico and China—our top two export markets by volume last year —have placed American pig farmers and their families in dire financial straits,” says Jim Heimerl, NPPC president and a pork producer from Johnstown, Ohio. READ MORE

PUBLIC HEALTH

New report on antimicrobial resistance: Given today’s potential for pathogens to quickly spread across borders, curbing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) must be an international effort. A new report, released July 18 from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO), shows progress, but also reveals gaps and inconsistencies in how individual countries address the issue. READ MORE

TERRORISM

Iran threatens terror, ‘asymmetrical warfare’: A senior Iranian military commander has warned Iran is prepared launch a war and wage a campaign of terror against the United States as he hit back after incendiary tweets posted by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier in the week. And Major-General Qassem Soleimani has claimed that if the US starts a war, “Iran will finish it.” READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Another look at China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative: Shunning all false modesty, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, calls his idea the “project of the century.” The country’s fawning media hail it as a gift of “Chinese wisdom” to the world’s development. As for the real meaning of the clumsy metaphor to describe it—the Belt-and-Road Initiative (BRI)—debate rages. The term itself is confusing. The “road” refers mostly to a sea route; the “belt” is on land. READ MORE

MISCELLANEOUS

Golden State Foods expands in Opelika: Golden State Foods, one of the largest diversified food processors and distributors in the foodservice industry, this week held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest meat processing plant in Opelika, Ala. The 165,000-square-foot LEED Certified processing plant has an annual production volume of approximately 170 million pounds of protein products. The Opelika location is GSF’s first fresh beef processing plant, with six frozen and five fresh patty lines dedicated to burger patties. READ MORE

A rescue: A Holstein cow was saved by a team of firefighters and animal control officers in Colorado after getting stuck in a cattle guard. The cow had all four legs stuck in a cattle guard made from oil field pipe and was unable to free herself. Upon arrival the team of firefighters used a harness to remove the cow with the help of a hydraulic jack to spread the pipe grates. READ MORE