Monsanto grants fund insect pest research

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Monsanto recently awarded six research grants as part of its Insect Management Knowledge Program (IMKP). The program, which started in early 2013 as the Corn Rootworm Knowledge Program, provides merit-based awards of up to $250,000 per award per year for up to three years for outstanding research that will not only enhance the collective understanding of… Read more »

Farmland values continue to soften

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Farmland values in the Midwest, which are down 10 to 15 percent over the past year, continue to soften. That’s according to a new report from Omaha-based Farmers National Company. Randy Dickhut, vice president of real estate operations, says while the demand for quality land is still good, the overall market isn’t as aggressive as… Read more »

Kinze announces layoffs; Deere brings some back

Farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing of Williamsburg, Iowa is laying off 215 workers due to a slowdown in ag equipment sales. The company released a statement saying that current demand for its planters and grain carts does not support full staffing. Meanwhile, John Deere says that it is recalling approximately 60 laid-off manufacturing employees to… Read more »

COOL is subject of Senate Ag Committee hearing

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Sharply differing viewpoints on country-of-origin labeling were aired Thursday at a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. Among those testifying was Barry Carpenter, CEO of the North American Meat Institute. “Let’s be candid.  The most vocal proponents of COOL for livestock have a single objective—to block the importation of livestock from our neighbors,” Carpenter said. “The law… Read more »

Senate approves TPA

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The Senate has approved Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by a vote of 60 to 38. The legislation grants the president authority to enter into and finalize free trade agreements.  Proponents argued that TPA is necessary in order for U.S. negotiators to complete the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement with 11 Pacific Rim countries. “TPA is what… Read more »

Kansas wheat ‘better than expected’

The general consensus of Kansas wheat farmers, as they harvest their 2015 crop, is that it’s better than they expected it to be back in April. Mike McClellan farms near Plainville in north-central Kansas. “The yields are better than we expected earlier,” McClellan says. “We had some rust come in late—I think that is making… Read more »

Stabenow proposes alternative to COOL repeal

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The ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee is offering an alternative to outright repeal of country-of-origin labeling (COOL). Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow has released a draft bill that would convert mandatory country-of-origin labeling for beef and pork to a voluntary program. Stabenow calls it “a pathway to finding a solution on country-of-origin labeling”. National… Read more »

Syngenta donates to ethanol initiative, promotes Enogen

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During the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen (NASCAR Truck Series Race) in Iowa last week, Syngenta announced today that it will donate approximately $600,000 to the Prime the Pump Fund. Prime the Pump is an ethanol industry initiative created to help the early retail adopters of high-level ethanol blends by awarding grants to reduce… Read more »

Senate to vote today on TPA

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The Senate is expected to approve Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) today. On Tuesday, senators voted 60 to 37 to break a Democratic-led filibuster and allow a final vote on the TPA bill.  The legislation now needs a simple majority to pass, after which it will be sent to the President for his signature. If TPA… Read more »

Storm damages crops, farms in northeast Iowa

A storm packing winds up to 100 miles per hour damaged crops and farmsteads in northeast Iowa on Monday. Mark Recker, who farms near Arlington, Iowa, tells Brownfield he lost a grain leg and a grain bin, and the roofs off two other bins.  Tuesday was clean-up day. “I have corn in a bin and… Read more »