Mar. 29 Agriculture Briefs


USDA rejects humane bird

slaughter request

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rejected a petition from an animal rights group that sought more humane treatment for turkeys and chickens sent to slaughter.

California-based Mercy For Animals filed a petition in November asking the USDA to include poultry in the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, a 1958 law that makes it a crime to abuse or neglect pigs and cows during slaughter.

The head of the USDA’s Office of Food Safety said in denying the petition that other regulations ensure humane poultry treatment.

US land managers designate grazing projects in 6 states

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — Federal land managers have designated 11 demonstration projects in six Western states in a bid to create more flexibility for grazing livestock on public range. Bureau of Land Management official Greg Deimel told the Elko Daily Free Press the aim is to share best practices in what the agency is calling outcome-based grazing authorizations. One example might involve letting ranchers graze cattle on young invasive cheatgrass.

The bureau announced Friday that five projects are at ranches in northern Nevada. Others are in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Wyoming.

Outcome-based grazing authorizations were announced in September 2017. The goal is to let land managers and livestock operators respond to changing range conditions such as wildfires, high moisture years or drought to weigh economics and ecology with wildlife habitat.

Report: Nearly half of Kansas wheat crop is faring poorly

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The latest government snapshot shows that nearly half of the Kansas winter wheat crop is in poor to very poor condition despite some recent rainfall.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported this month that 49 percent of the wheat in Kansas was in poor or very poor condition. About 38 percent was rated as fair with 12 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

It also reported topsoil moisture supplies remain short or very short across 69 percent of the state.