Malted barley is sensitive to high temps and drought: Beer lovers could be left with a sour taste, thanks to the latest in a series of studies mapping the effects of climate change on crops. Malted barley — a key ingredient in beer including IPAs, stouts and pilsners — is particularly sensitive to warmer temperatures and drought, both of which are likely to increase due to climate change. Read more HERE and HERE.
Dairy operations closing: According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 497 dairy farms have called it quits year-to-date. That number is 630 year-over-year. While Wisconsin is a big dairy state, operations are closing throughout the United States. READ MORE
Hurricane impacted poultry industry: Hurricane Michael’s impact on the poultry industry took a toll in Georgia and Alabama, but operations in other Southeast states — already reeling from Hurricane Florence — seemingly were not as badly hit by the latest storm. The Georgia Department of Agriculture reported that at least 90 chicken houses were destroyed or significantly damaged as Michael swept through the state, killing more than two million chickens. READ MORE
‘Hyperalarming’ study shows massive invertebrate loss: Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realized. Huge numbers of bugs have been lost in a pristine national forest in Puerto Rico, the study found, and the forest’s insect-eating animals have gone missing, too.
Effect of tariffs mixed for dairy industry: Earlier this year the U.S. was hit with retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and China. Mexico, our largest trading customer, put tariffs on U.S. cheese while China placed tariffs on other, mostly powder-based, dairy products. Since the tariffs went into effect in July, dairy markets have seen a 33 percent drop off of sales into Mexico and China. That drop was offset by exports of unaffected products which were up 33 percent on a year-over-year basis. READ MORE
Polio-like illness has hit more than half of states: This year, more than half of all U.S. states have had confirmed or possible cases of acute flaccid myelitis, the polio-like illness that can cause paralysis and mostly affects children, according to an exclusive CNN analysis. READ MORE
‘Sneaky’ subscriptions plague App Store: Scammers are taking advantage of App Store subscriptions in order to trick users into signing up for expensive and recurring plans. They do this by intentionally confusing users with their app’s design and flow, by making promises of “free trials” that convert after only a matter of days, and other misleading tactics. READ MORE
How chemical weapons helped Assad: After seven devastating years of civil war in Syria, which have left more than 350,000 people dead, President Bashar al-Assad appears close to victory against the forces trying to overthrow him. A joint investigation by BBC Panorama and BBC Arabic shows for the first time the extent to which chemical weapons have been crucial to his war-winning strategy. READ MORE
Was that a pig’s head in that suitcase? U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and their K-9 coworker discovered something unusual when they looked in a checked luggage back at Hartsfield-Jackson airport in Atlanta last week—a cooked pig. Hardy, a member of the “Beagle Brigade,” got a smell of something suspicious in the bag of a traveler from Ecuador. When officials examined the bag, they found a roasted pig head in the baggage. The U.S. prevents any pork and pork products from other continents in order to prevent the introduction of diseases like foot and mouth disease and classical swine fever. READ MORE