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Agriculture

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A sharply divided Iowa Supreme Court on Friday stopped a lawsuit aimed at reducing the flow of fertilizer and hog farm waste into the state's river and streams, finding that limiting pollution from farms was a political matter and not one for the courts.

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OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation’s crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires.

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky state Sen. Paul Hornback, a prominent voice on farming as a committee chairman, said Wednesday that he won't seek another term in 2022 but downplayed blistering criticism he received from a fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI's director told lawmakers Thursday that the bureau discourages ransomware payments to hacking groups even as major companies in the past month have participated in multimillion-dollar transactions aimed at getting their systems back online.

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DENVER (AP) — The second-largest producer of beef, pork and chicken in the U.S. will pay up to $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit that claimed the company discriminated against Muslim employees at a meat processing plant in northern Colorado.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Somewhere between testing beet and carrot juice, blueberries and mint in search of the precise hues for a four-tiered rainbow cake celebrating her daughter's first birthday in spring 2020, Food Network star Molly Yeh was forced by COVID's gathering storm clouds to abruptly cancel the party she'd spent six months planning.

A lush ground cover can take over a garden; but when kept in control, the carpet of color provides a backdrop for all your plantings, allowing vibrant flowers and bushes to take center stage. Use ground cover on a terrace or steep slope or in an enclosed courtyard wherever you want to create a well-tended uniform appearance that helps retain moisture and retard the growth of weeds. Since it’s a perennial it will return every year, a welcome feature for a shady area or to cover and surround tree roots close to the surface where little else will grow.

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's beloved wild blueberry fields are home to one of the most important fruit crops in New England, and scientists have found they are warming at a faster rate than the rest of the state.

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — In a sign of meatpacking workers becoming emboldened by the pandemic's health threats and economic repercussions, the union at a South Dakota pork processing plant that experienced a bad coronavirus outbreak last year has overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from Smithfield Foods and will next move to bring the prospect of a strike to the negotiating table.

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Recent high-profile “ransomware” attacks on the world’s largest meat-packing company and the biggest U.S. fuel pipeline have underscored how gangs of extortionist hackers can disrupt the economy and put lives and livelihoods at risk.

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