Iowa farmers welcome good harvest weather

After repeated rain delays, Iowa farmers are finally seeing a stretch of good harvest weather. “The dry weather the last several days has been very helpful and farmers will be working long hours to get the crop in when conditions allow, ” says Iowa secretary of agriculture Bill Northey. As of Sunday, 61 percent of Iowa… Read more »

New tool measures crop yield gaps worldwide

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s largest gap in farm yields—70 to 90 percent below their potential—according to a new research tool unveiled at the Global Water for Food Conference in Seattle. The new web-based platform is called the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas.  According to Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the international agricultural research… Read more »

Nebraska’s governor encourages E85 use

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is encouraging Nebraskans to use E85—the blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gasoline—the next time they fill up with a flex fuel vehicle. “Our farmers are anticipating record corn yields, which makes it the perfect time to encourage consumers to utilize one of the many products made from… Read more »

NCBA launches petition drive against checkoff proposal

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is encouraging producers to sign an online petition opposing Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s proposal for a second national beef checkoff. The effort, called “Don’t Hijack the Beef Checkoff”, has a goal of 100-thousand signatures by November 12th. Vilsack says he has the authority to create a supplemental checkoff… Read more »

Wheat breeder, Borlaug protege, receives World Food Prize

In a ceremony this week in Des Moines, the 2014 World Food Prize was presented to Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram for his scientific research that led to a significant increase in world wheat production.  He is credited with breeding 480 wheat varieties used in more than 50 countries. The 71-year-old Rajaram, who grew up in India,… Read more »

‘Really good’ corn yields in central Nebraska

It’s been a good week for harvest activity in Nebraska. Bart Beattie, who farms near the town of Sumner in central Nebraska, tells Brownfield that they wrapped up soybeans earlier in the week.  He says their soybean yields were down this year. “A lot of it was due to early frost and some early hail… Read more »

Kansas cellulosic ethanol plant holds grand opening

Another cellulosic ethanol plant is officially open. Abengoa held a grand opening today (Friday) for its new cellulosic plant in Hugoton, Kansas.  The plant, which is located about 90 miles southwest of Dodge City, began production in late September. At full operation, the Abengoa plant will produce 25 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol annually and… Read more »

Advice for cow-calf producers in managing record 2014 income

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It’s been a very good year for cow-calf producers. For many of them, a historic year in terms of profitability, says Aaron Berger, an Extension educator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “We’ve had a really amazing year from a cattle standpoint—and also with these Livestock Forage Disaster Payments—and many cow-calf producers are in situation that… Read more »

Report says ag productivity not accelerating fast enough

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A report on global agricultural productivity (GAP) finds that it is not accelerating fast enough to meet future global demand. It’s the first time since the initial GAP report was released in 2009 that the growth of “sustainable” ag productivity has fallen behind the pace needed to meet the needs of nine billion people by… Read more »

Fraley: ‘Vast majority’ of consumers open to GMOs

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Opponents of GMOs—genetically modified organisms—in food, have been garnering a lot of attention in recent months.  But Dr. Robb Fraley of Monsanto, who is often referred to as “the father of agricultural biotechnology”, is convinced they represent a small percentage of consumers.  We visited with Fraley at the 2014 World Food Prize event in Des… Read more »