Hurricane Florence, flood concept. 3D rendering

Sanderson Farms reports loss of broilers: Sanderson Farms, one of the country’s largest poultry producers, said in a notice to investors Monday that at least 1.7 million of its chickens had perished in North Carolina after dozens of broiler houses and other facilities were flooded because of the storm. The company added that about 30 farms in the state ― housing more than 6 million chickens ― remained unreachable because of flood waters. Unless feed trucks are able to access those farms, Sanderson warned that loss of life could quickly “escalate.”  READ MORE

To stay or to go? As the days drag on, Hurricane Florence has taken this deceptive turn: The violent winds that rattled shingles off houses and tore down trees have subsided, and the pounding rain has eased, lulling many in the storm’s path into believing they’ve already weathered the worst of it — even as rivers quietly churn and continue to rise. The storm has claimed more than 30 lives and an untold number of homes on its slow march across North Carolina, inundating city after city. READ MORE

A health and environmental crisis: Hurricane-wracked North Carolina faces a health and environmental crisis after at least nine hog-waste lagoons were compromised and sewage plants across the state flooded, releasing millions of gallons of partially treated human discharge. On an aerial tour Monday of the state’s dozen top hog-producing counties, many lagoons appeared intact. Roughly the size of a soccer field, they are blue-green or red, thanks to bacteria that break down the feces and urine. Several, though, were swamped with water from the torrential rains and rising creeks. READ MORE

Slaughter plants shut: U.S. food companies kept slaughter plants shut on Monday in southeastern states swamped by Hurricane Florence as flash floods collapsed the walls of at least two hog manure pits, made roads undriveable and delayed rail shipments. Catastrophic flooding  has interrupted supply lines around the state and into neighboring South Carolina. North Carolina is a top U.S. producer of poultry, hogs and tobacco. Agriculture contributes $87 billion to the states economy, making it the No. 1 industry, according to the state government. READ MORE

About that other storm: As “super-storm” Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall on the Asian continent Monday, it took a direct path over north Vietnam, an area of dense poultry and hog farming. Its effects also are expected to be felt in Thailand and in South China, areas known for large-scale poultry and pork production. READ MORE

FOOD SECURITY

Wisconsin losing dairies: Wisconsin has seen a significant decline in dairies in 2018, with 47 farms exiting the business in August, 44 farms in July and 54 farms calling it quits in June. The total number of licensed dairy producers in the state now sits just under 8,400 and is likely to drop further by the end of the year. READ MORE

USDA announces grant programs: USDA is investing $102.7 million to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other growers across the country through five grant programs. The funding supports a variety of locally-led projects intended to expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops. READ MORE

UK may relax EU’s decision on gene editing: The UK has confirmed it will “consider” relaxing the European Union’s controversial decision to include gene editing techniques within its regulatory framework that restricts the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the food chain after Brexit. READ MORE

TARIFFS

China slaps tariffs on thousands of U.S. products: China’s Ministry of Commerce on Tuesday announced $60 billion in new tariffs on over 5,000 U.S. products, effective Sept. 24. The announcement came less than a day after President Donald Trump announced $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese goods. READ MORE
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‘The trade war is bad’: A column in Dairy Herd Management summarizes the judgment of economists from the University of Illinois and Ohio State about the Trump Administrations tariffs. To summarize the economists, the columnist said, the trade war is bad—period. He also discussed a press release from the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), saying, “But it took until the very last sentence of NAWG’s 313-word press release to get to that point: ‘The long-term solution is to end the trade war.’” READ MORE

THE FUTURE

A&W adds meatless burger: After more than 60 years of dishing out beef burgers, a Canadian fast-food chain has found new success in an unexpected product: a patty made from peas, mung beans and beets. A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., the country’s second-largest hamburger chain, is tapping into growing demand for plant-based protein by becoming the first national burger chain to offer California-based Beyond Meat’s burger on its menu in July. READ MORE

SAFE WATER

USDA investing in rural water infrastructure: USDA Monday announced that the agency is  investing $392 million to help rebuild and improve rural water and wastewater infrastructure in 42 states.  Investments in 120 infrastructure projects are being supported through USDA’s Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. The funding can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents, often with other federal and nonprofit partners and nonprofits. READ MORE