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How ACA Repeal Would Hurt Farmers and Rural Communities

"The ACA has been a mixed bag for agriculture. While many large farms balked at the requirement to ensure their employees (experts say it cost farm employers in California about $1 per hour per employee working in the field), most small-scale farmers often opted out of insurance all together before the ACA, or sought off-farm employment in order to get coverage through an employer’s plan. A 2015 USDA blog post notes that prior to the ACA, rural families struggled to find affordable healthcare, “paying an average of nearly half of their costs out of their own pockets” and that “one in five farmers is in debt because of medical bills.”

Picaridin vs DEET: Which Is the Best Insect Repellent?

"Created by Bayer in the 1980s, picaridin (pronounced pih-CARE-a-den) is a synthetic compound developed from a plant extract from the genus Piper, the same plant genus that produces table pepper. Picaridin has been available since 1998 in Europe and Australia—where it is the best-selling insect repellent—but was approved for sale in the United States only in 2005. (You may see it listed as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, or icaridin.) As with DEET, the EPA has concluded that the normal use of picaridin does not present a health concern."

"Studies have shown picaridin to be as effective as DEET in repelling mosquitoes. Unlike DEET, however, picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and does not dissolve plastics or other synthetics. The one possible concern with picaridin is its relative newness. Insufficient time has passed for long-term health risks (should they exist) to manifest themselves. A limited, but growing, number of repellents contain picaridin, including Cutter Advanced, Sawyer Premium, and Repel Smart Spray."

Kiss your ash trees goodbye … unless you treat now

"The emerald ash borer is an Asian native that likely rode wooden packing materials to America. It was first discovered destroying ash trees in Michigan in 2002. Since then, it's moved mostly south and east by firewood and flight, killing tens of millions of all species of ash trees in 20 states. The first ones showed up in central Pennsylvania in 2012. The alarming part is that the emerald ash borer is so devastating that it's expected to kill nearly 100 percent of ash trees within four to five years."

"Many municipalities, power companies and tree-owners already are cutting down ashes pre-emptively. It's too expensive to chemically protect masses of ash trees, and if you wait until they're failing, they became fall hazards and much more expensive to remove. (Brittle dead and dying ash trees are more hazardous for tree companies to work on than healthy, solid ones.)"

"Do you ignore the coming threat, figuring you'll pay later if necessary while hoping the tree doesn't fall down in the meantime? Do you bite the bullet and pay a few hundred dollars now to remove a tree that might look fine? Or do you invest hundreds or even thousands of dollars for unknown years of treatments to save your ash from the borers? The most effective treatment is an insecticide called emamectin benzoate, which tree companies can inject into the trunk of ash trees every two years."