Net Farm Income drops 38%

The latest report from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) says net farm income will be down 38 percent this year. This would be the largest single-year decline since 1983 in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms.  Net cash income is forecast at $93 billion down 28 percent from 2014. Crop receipts are projected to be $186… Read more »

October poultry production down 2% on year

The USDA reports October poultry production was 4.050 billion pounds, down 2% on the year. That’s because of a 2% decline in the average live weight, to 5.345 billion pounds. The chicken slaughter was 4% lower at 754.780 million head and the turkey kill was down 5% to 22.153 million head. Ante-mortem condemnations were 12.458… Read more »

Cheese market bounces around

The barrel-to-block spread narrowed to just 3.75 cents on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Tuesday.  Barrels gained 6.25 cents and blocks slipped a half-cent. There were 16 loads sold, 13 barrels and 3 blocks.  Class III futures took a dive; December lost 19 cents, January plunged 33 cents and February fell 24 cents. USDA Economic Research… Read more »

Snow cover across the central Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, an early-season snowfall has disrupted final summer crop harvest efforts. On November 15, prior to the snow’s arrival, more than one-tenth of the corn was still standing in Michigan and Wisconsin. Early Monday, snow depths included 9 inches in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and 7 inches in Albany, Wisconsin. On the Plains, snow… Read more »

Feeding the world

Commentary. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), more than eight hundred million people on this planet suffer from chronic hunger.  To put it into perspective and better understand that gargantuan number, consider that the U.S. Census estimates the population of the United States on July 4, 2015 was: 321,216,397…. Read more »

Food safety when gifting

When buying homemade foods during the holidays, take steps to make sure they’re safe.  Food Safety Educator Jane Hart with Michigan State University Extension says if food items are made in home kitchens, they need to be properly labeled. HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM – Gifting safe food  

Noise about a fish and GM labeling

The ongoing and very noisy debate over whether or not foods should be labeled because they’re the product of or contain genetically modified ingredients got a whole lot noisier this week as FDA dropped three policy bombs in rapid succession November 19. The dust has yet to settle. First, the agency made history by approving… Read more »

Iowa water data shows continued improvement needed

The chairman of the Iowa organization called Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) says water quality samples obtained this year by the alliance in the Raccoon and Boone River watersheds “reaffirm the need for continuous improvement and greater collaboration”. “Water monitoring is the cornerstone of our organization, because we firmly believe you must know where you… Read more »

Farmer2Farmer: Bringing Moneyball to Farming

Farmers Business Network (FBN) will host a major farmer conference called “Farmer2Farmer: Bringing Moneyball to Farming” December 15-17 at the Quad Cities Riverfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. FBN co-founder Charles Baron tells Brownfield the conference will convene farmers and leaders from sports, technology, the military and farming to discuss how analytics and data driven management are… Read more »

Ag businesses support mandatory energy efficiency

The Michigan Agri-Business Association is calling for mandatory energy efficiency requirements of the state’s utilities.  President Jim Byrum tells Brownfield the agricultural industry is concerned the programs will be phased out. “These are very real programs, very meaningful, and frankly should be encouraged.” Michigan’s energy policy is being reviewed by state legislators and agribusiness leaders… Read more »

Equine lameness treatment begins with diagnosis

No matter what the discipline, a horse is only as good as its feet.  There are differing lameness issues depending on what the horse does, says Dr. Britt Conklin with Boeringher Ingleheim.  Signs of lameness include jumping horses that stop at a fence without clearing it, or a running horse that may lose speed or… Read more »

Bixby Farms prepares for apple harvest
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