Branch of ripe cotton on the cotton field,

Hurricane crop losses may be as high as $1 billion: While crop damage is anticipated during extreme weather events, University of Georgia agricultural economist Jeff Dorfman estimates that the damage from Hurricane Michael could be as high as $1 billion. Southeast Farm Press reports that cotton losses could top $600 million, peanut growers could lose $150 million, pecan growers face $200 million in losses and nearly $30 million of soybeans are at risk.  READ MORE

For those without much, more hardship: Mary Frances Parrish is expecting to be without electricity for several weeks, or roughly the same time the terminally ill son she’s caring for is expected to live.Parrish, whose son has cancer, is in a position many in the Panama City region are facing. They have damaged homes, no power, and don’t have the resources to relocate, either to a new home or a temporary home. READ MORE

Photos show devastation: In Lynn Haven, Fla., Mayor Margo Anderson drove through the neighborhoods of her small bayside city on Sunday to deliver some unwelcome news: The electric power knocked out nearly a week ago by Hurricane Michael might not be restored for two months. Behind the wheel of a black golf cart, she made the rounds as shellshocked neighbors emerged from houses with busted windows and walls and front porches, the damage from the punches of fast wind, rushing waters and toppled trees. Read more HERE, HERE and HERE.

FOOD SECURITY

Florida’s orange crop expected to increase, but still small: Florida’s orange crop is expected to increase for the first time in seven years. USDA announced last week that 79 million boxes of oranges are expected during the coming season, a 76 percent increase from the 45 million produced last season when the crop was ravaged by Hurricane Irma and the industry suffered from citrus greening, a disease that kills trees. The forecast is only about a third the size of the typical Florida orange crop of the early 2000s, however. READ MORE

FOOD FRAUD

Farmers plead guilty to ‘organic’ fraud: Three Nebraska farmers have pleaded guilty to fraudulently marketing non-organic corn and soybeans as certified organic as part of a seven-year multi-million dollar scheme, Morning Ag Clips  reports. The farmers allegedly sold non-organic grains to an Iowa company that marketed them as organic nationwide. Additionally, court documents allege that the men used unapproved substances such as pesticides and nitrogen to grow the crops. READ MORE

‘Convinced themselves to look the other way’: Three farmers who pleaded guilty Friday in a large-scale organic grain fraud scheme were lured into participation by a Missouri businessman who was its mastermind, a defense lawyer said. The farmers “convinced themselves to look the other way” while Randy Constant of a company called Jericho Solutions marketed the non-organic corn and soybeans they grew in Nebraska as certified organic, generating at least $10.9 million between 2010 and 2017. READ MORE

GLYPHOSATE CONTROVERSY

Massive judgment may be tossed out: A San Francisco judge said last week that she is considering tossing out the lion’s share of the $289 million judgment against agribusiness giant Monsanto and ordering a new trial over whether the company’s weed-killer caused a groundskeeper’s cancer. READ MORE

TARIFFS

Garlic farmers like tariffs: One group of farmers sees the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China as the opportunity they need to revitalize their businesses – garlic growers. China has an iron grip on the U.S. market for garlic, controlling more than 90 percent of the dried garlic sold in America, a fact that has choked many U.S. garlic farmers out of business over the last quarter-century. READ MORE

ANIMAL HEALTH

A focus on foot-and-mouth disease: As Farm Bill negotiations continue, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will press for key cattle industry priorities, including the creation of a new foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine bank and a strong conservation title. A recent study concluded that an uncontained FMD outbreak in the U.S. would cost the beef and pork sectors more than $128 billion over 10 years. READ MORE

ANIMAL FEED SAFETY

Ingredients contained poultry feathers: A federal judge in St. Louis has ordered companies from Missouri and California to pay a combined $7 million for shipping ingredients containing poultry feathers and other misbranded items to pet food manufacturers. READ MORE

CYBER SECURITY

DoD cyber breach: The Pentagon on Friday said there has been a cyber breach of Defense Department travel records that compromised the personal information and credit card data of U.S. military and civilian personnel. According to a U.S. official familiar with the matter, the breach could have affected as many as 30,000 workers, but that number may grow as the investigation continues. READ MORE

THE FUTURE

Computer-generated fakes are strikingly real: Forensic experts are being outpaced by the development of computer-generated fakes, and there is no method yet that can detect them all. Deep-learning computer applications can now generate fake video and audio recordings that look strikingly real. In a recent video published by researchers to show how the technology works, an actor sits in front of a camera moving his face. The computer then generates the same expressions in real time on an existing video of Barack Obama. READ MORE

Robots and drones will change retail forever: What if you could store and deliver goods as easily as data? Amazon, Walmart and others are using AI and robotics to transform everything from appliance shopping to grocery delivery. Welcome to the physical cloud. READ MORE

How Manhattan became a rich ghost town: These days, walking through parts of Manhattan feels like occupying two worlds at the same time. In a theoretical universe, you are standing in the nation’s capital of business, commerce, and culture. In the physical universe, the stores are closed, the lights are off, and the windows are plastered with for-lease signs. READ MORE