Grassley discusses GMO labeling bill’s prospects

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the odds are “zero” that a GMO labeling bill will make it through Congress before Vermont’s labeling law goes into effect July 1st. But Grassley, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, says the situation could change if other states start passing their own GMO labeling laws. Grassley commented in a Monday… Read more »

Ethanol gains favor as climate focus intensifies

As the focus on carbon reduction and climate change intensifies around the world, ethanol seems to be gaining favor. A debate has raged for years over ethanol’s carbon footprint and whether or not it plays a positive role in fighting climate change.  But U.S. corn ethanol fuel production has experienced significant energy use and greenhouse… Read more »

Are we still in the ‘new era’ of corn and soybean prices?

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Many ag economists think we entered a new era of corn and soybean prices back in 2007.  They believe the new era replaced the previous era that spanned from 1973 through 2006, primarily driven by demand shifts associated with rising biofuel production, particularly corn-based ethanol. So after the relatively low price period of recent years, is this new era of higher prices still… Read more »

Record corn planting for northeast Iowa farmer

Northeast Iowa farmer Dennis Lindsay of Masonville says they wrapped up corn planting this week. “We finished up a day or so ago,” Lindsay says. “It was the earliest we’ve started and earliest we’ve ever gotten done since I started farming. So it’s kind of a record-setter year.” Lindsay estimates about three-quarters of the corn… Read more »

Nebraska farmer copes with planting delays

Corn planting in Nebraska got off to a fast start in mid-April. But frequent rains since then have slowed planting progress. Ann Meis of Elgin in northeast Nebraska says they’ve planted about 250 acres of corn so far. “I’d estimate anywhere from 20 to maybe 40 percent of corn is in the fields,” Meis says…. Read more »

AgriLabs enters vaccine manufacturing business

AgriLabs, the largest U.S. animal health marketing and distribution business, is entering the vaccine manufacturing business with a new USDA-licensed facility in Lincoln, Nebraska. AgriLabs’ CEO Steve Schram says the swine market will be the first target for the new facilities. “That’s where our focus is initially, is to develop some vaccines that are needed… Read more »

Work continues to find labeling compromise

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Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee say they are still working to find a compromise on GMO labeling. But committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow admits it’s one of the toughest issues she’s had to deal with. “This is tough. We’re working continually on this, trying to thread the needle, and I’m hopeful we can do that,”… Read more »

Big jump in Iowa corn planting

Corn planting is off to fast start in Iowa. As of Sunday, 40 percent of the anticipated corn acres were planted, 11 days ahead of the five-year average. Farmers in north central, central and southeast Iowa had already planted over half their corn crop. Topsoil moisture levels rated six percent surplus and 89 percent adequate…. Read more »

Nebraska planting progress slowed by rain

Corn planting was slow in Nebraska last week as producers waited for soils to dry from recent rains. As of Sunday, 16 percent of the corn crop was planted, still ahead of the five-year average of 11 percent. Pastures and winter wheat were responding to the improved soil moisture supplies. Winter wheat condition rated 60… Read more »

Request for early port labor talks ‘encouraging’

The president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Phil Seng, says he’s encouraged by news that West Coast port operators want to begin early negotiations on a contract extension with the longshoremen’s union. “I’m encouraged by the fact that they want to start talking now—and I think this is something that we need… Read more »