Ag secretary: US needs better programs for long-term drought
EAST LANSING, Mich. — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack plugged sustainable farming and forestry efforts in a Friday visit to Michigan State University, where he promised an aggressive approach to conservation and reforestation. Vilsack made the comments at MSU's new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility, built at the site of the former Shaw Lane Power Plant using some of the existing structure as well as glulam and cross-laminated timber. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., and MSU President Samuel Stanley accompanied Vilsack during his tour of the fac...
The Detroit News
Dozens of Texas vineyards file suit against Bayer, BASF, allege widespread damage by weedkiller
ST. LOUIS — A group of nearly 60 Texas vineyards filed suit Friday against agribusiness companies Bayer and BASF, alleging that their controversial weedkiller dicamba, used heavily in the state's vast cotton fields, has damaged thousands of acres of wine grapes. The case from 57 growers near Lubbock is believed to be the first dicamba suit from the U.S. wine industry. It says that 95% of productive grape vines have sustained damage across dozens of vineyards there, with the worst occurring in the last three years, as more and more local cotton growers used the herbicide. Combined with other ne...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Bayer faces legal pickle as it reassesses options in Roundup lawsuits, experts say
ST. LOUIS — Agribusiness giant Bayer said it will reassess its legal options in tens of thousands of lawsuits that allege its juggernaut weedkiller, Roundup, causes cancer — a move that could ripple through courtrooms in the St. Louis region, where many of the cases are filed. The St. Louis-based firm OnderLaw is handling 24,000 of outstanding cases, the vast majority of those already filed but not yet settled. Almost all are in St. Louis-area courts, thanks to Bayer's presence in the region. One is set to reach trial in October in Jefferson County, with more slated for the months to follow. "...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dead whales found lodged under hull of Australian warship docked in San Diego
SAN DIEGO — An Australian destroyer pulled into San Diego Bay Saturday with an unexpected cargo: two dead fin whales lodged against the ship’s hull. And their size is no trivial matter. The largest carcass belonged to a female adult measuring 65 feet long, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The other was much smaller at 25 feet long, likely a calf. The whales were discovered as the ship, HMAS Sydney, berthed at Naval Base San Diego, the Australian Royal Navy said in a statement. Experts say the physics of the situation are somewhat common — even if the presence of mo...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Commentary: Show compassion for all moms this Mother’s Day: Go vegan
This Mother’s Day, be kind to someone else’s mom — by going vegan. Farmed animals have mothers, too, after all. We’ve all heard the term “mother hen” used to describe someone with a strong maternal instinct. That’s because hens are doting parents who will even care for other baby animals as if they were their own. When not confined to filthy factory farms, hens lovingly tend to their eggs and “talk” to their unhatched chicks, who chirp back while they’re still in the shell! But birds used for food never get to see their chicks, because they hatch in large metal incubators. The male birds are u...
Tribune News Service