West Coast Agreement & Rail Tie-Up

West Coast Agreement & Rail Tie-Up

West Coast Agreement & Rail Tie-Up plus Food Forethought. I'm Greg Martin with today's Northwest Report.

West Coast leaders are set to announce a historic partnership on climate policy in a news conference later this afternoon. The event will provide details of an agreement aligning the governments' strategies that combat climate change and promote clean energy. The agreement will be based on the recognition that the West Coast is bounded together by a common geography, shared infrastructure and a regional economy with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion, making it the world's fifth largest economy.

The strike at the ports in the Pacific Northwest and rail repairs being made in North Dakota are making it difficult to move grain this harvest. North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring says he's talked with officials from Burlington, Northern, Santa Fe Railway about work they're doing on their rail and the backlog it's creating for moving grain.

GOEHRING: We've had railcar shuttles sitting anywhere from four to ten days now and they aren't moving and there's no new cars coming in. Some shuttle facilities have actually indicated to me that they're still waiting for shuttles to come in and they're full. And until they can get product off the ground or out of the bins they can't take any more so it's problematic.

Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.

Bees are having a tough time now days, there's no argument there, but apparently they had an even tougher time 65 million years ago. According to a study done by scientists at UNH bees underwent a mass extinction right along with the dinosaurs. Previous studies have suggested a widespread extinction among flowering plants at the same time and it's been assumed that the bees who depended upon those plants met the same fate. Unfortunately, there aren't the massive fossil records for bees like there are dinosaurs, which has made confirming such an extinction rather difficult. So, instead of studying just fossils, scientists combined their research with DNA analysis and found that "something major was happening in four different groups of bees at the same time, and that a mass extinction event signature in the DNA just happened to correspond to the extinction of dinosaurs." This new research suggests that the bee extinction lasted roughly 10 million years. Researchers are hoping that this new information will help us learn from the past about how pollinators and plants respond to natural disturbances, and help us ward off a current day bee extinction; because as one famous person once said, "no bees, no pollination, no plants, no more man".

Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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