Tough times for cotton producers

These are tough times for U.S. cotton producers. The crop is at its lowest price level in five years, selling for around 60 cents a pound. It brought 88 cents a pound in 2011. Dahlen Hancock, who farms near Lubbock Texas, says it’s very discouraging right now. “This my 35th cotton crop. I’m fourth generation… Read more »

Will Congress keep its promise on crop insurance cuts?

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Some ag group leaders are not totally convinced that Congress will keep its promise to exclude crop insurance cuts from the upcoming omnibus budget bill. Ag leaders in the House and Senate say they have assurances that those cuts, which are part of a Congressional budget agreement, will be restored. But some question just how… Read more »

FSA’s ARC-CO changes welcomed

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently modified the way farmers can calculate ARC-County payments for farms in multiple counties. Brad Lubben, Extension policy specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says farmers will now be allowed to calculate ARC-County on the physical location of each tract of the farm, instead of the administrative county. “The producers… Read more »

North Dakota farmer says technology pays off

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Jerry Messer is one of the owners of Beaver Creek Ranch near the town of Richardton in southwestern North Dakota. In an interview with Brownfield’s Jerry Passer at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting in Kansas City, Messer talked about how the use of precision agriculture tools and other technologies have improved… Read more »

Abengoa seeks creditor protection

Renewable energy company Abengoa has filed for preliminary protection from its creditors, a possible prelude to bankruptcy. Abengoa operates ethanol plants near Madison and Mount Vernon, Illinois; Ravenna and York, Nebraska; Portales, New Mexico; and Colwich, Kansas. Earlier this year, the company opened a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas. The company is based in… Read more »

Grassley: Many factors to consider in TPP decision

Senate Ag Committee member Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he has not yet read the 3,000 pages of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement but from all reports he’s seen, it should be positive for agriculture. “From what I’ve heard from agricultural people that have been following it for six years, it seems to me… Read more »

EPA reverses course on Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide

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In a surprise move, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn its approval of Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Duo herbicide. In announcing its decision Wednesday, the EPA cited concerns about the herbicide’s potential impact on endangered plants and animals covered under the Endangered Species Act. The agency said new information has surfaced that could lead it… Read more »

Discussing policy matters with UNL’s Brad Lubben

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At a recent Cornhusker Economics Outlook meeting in York, Nebraska, we visited with University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension policy specialist Brad Lubben about some of the policy matters that he’s been following. Topics include the farm safety net and the effectiveness of current farm programs; threats to crop insurance in Congress; the Renewable Fuels Standard; and… Read more »

ISA releases how-to guide for on-farm research

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Tips, insights and processes to inform farmers’ decision-making are included in the “Guide to On-Farm Replicated Strip Trials”, published by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) On-Farm Network. According to On-Farm Network director Pat Reeg, the comprehensive manual provides farmers, agronomists, researchers and consultants details about how to set up trials and collect, summarize and analyze data. “The guide captures… Read more »

USMEF head more optimistic about China

The head of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is optimistic that U.S. beef exports to China could resume in 2016. The Chinese market has been closed to U.S. beef since the first case of BSE in the U.S. in 2003. But USMEF president and CEO Phil Seng says he senses a renewed commitment to… Read more »