Friday, September 19, 2014

What We Learned This Week - "Say 'Ah' . . . or 'Uh' or 'Um'"

Lawmakers approved a $1 trillion stopgap-spending bill to keep the government funded through December 11, and then went home to campaign.  The Army Corps of Engineers acted appropriately during the 2012-2013 drought and Missouri River 2011 flood.   The USDA awarded $15.7 million in Conservation Innovation Grants, including funding for 17 projects within the Mississippi River Basin. That Department also approved new genetically modified corn and soybeans, clearing the way for application of a new herbicide (pending USEPA approval).  Corn and oil don't mix: Shipping companies may miss out on exports from record-setting U.S. grain crop, as the Great Plains shale-oil boom clogs up rail lines to ports.  2014 was warmest summer, globally, since record collecting started in 1880.  If you say "um" quite a lot, you can thank the "Midwest Dialect" that floated down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh long ago.   Minnesota quietly released its final nutrient reduction strategy for state surface waters. Iowa has a bit further to go in that regard, and should invest more in its water quality.   Including Iowa's commissioner, a gathering of state agriculture commissioners unanimously vote to call for the Obama administration to withdraw its controversial Waters of the U.S. proposal.  Attorneys general from seven states and the District of Columbia disagreed with the agricultural commissioners, expressing support for the proposed water rule.  A new Presidential executive order requires the development of a detailed plan by February on a national antibiotic resistant bacteria strategy (Approximately 23,000 people in the United States die annually due to antibiotic-resistant infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).  In a blow to Sen. Pat Roberts’ chances for reelection, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Democrat Chad Taylor’s name must be removed from the ballot for U.S. Senate. Farm groups are by and large sticking with Senate Republicans such as Senator Roberts, despite their past Farm Bill opposition.  And last but not least, over 800 million people worldwide do not get enough to eat, even as the world produces more than twice as much food as it needs, according to new United Nations figures.

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