Farmer2Farmer: Bringing Moneyball to Farming

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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 »

EPA launches ‘Nutrient Recycling Challenge’

In an effort to surface new ideas for recycling livestock manure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched the “Nutrient Recycling Challenge”, a competition to develop new manure recycling technologies. According to EPA agriculture advisor Ron Carleton, the agency is seeking ideas for cost-effective technologies that extract nutrients—specifically nitrogen and/or phosphorus—from cow or hog manure… Read more »

Ballots for Iowa co-op merger are in the mail

The ballots are in the mail for the merger vote involving two of Iowa’s largest ag cooperatives. Members of Ames-based Farmers Cooperative Company (FC) and Ralston-based West Central Cooperative are voting on whether to bring the two organizations together. Jim Chism, CEO of FC Co-op, says from a grain marketing standpoint, the merger makes sense…. Read more »

Iowa water data shows continued improvement needed

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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 »

Coalition urges Congress to keep crop insurance intact

A broad coalition of ag-related groups is urging Congressional leaders to keep their promise to not cut crop insurance through the appropriations process. The letter to all members of Congress says that crop insurance is a linchpin of the farm safety net and is crucial to the economic security of rural America. Brad Lubben, Extension policy… Read more »

Lawsuits threatened over GE salmon approval

Food safety and environmental advocacy groups are lashing out at the FDA’s approval of genetically engineered salmon. The Center for Food Safety says it plans to sue the FDA over its decision. The organization calls AquAdvantage salmon a “dangerous contaminant” and says the FDA “has neglected its responsibility to protect the public”. A spokesperson for… Read more »

Preparing for 2016

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Tina Barrett is the executive director of Nebraska Farm Business Inc., an organization that works with farmers on financial analysis and business and tax planning. At a recent Cornhusker Economics Outlook meeting in York, Nebraska, we asked Barrett what types of things she will be discussing with her farmer-clients as they plan for 2016.  She… Read more »

Improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers

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At the recent World Food Prize event in Des Moines, we had the opportunity to visit with Dr. Marco Ferroni, executive director of the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. According to Dr. Ferroni, the mission of the Syngenta Foundation is to help small-scale farmers in developing countries and emerging markets become more professional growers.  It helps those farmers… Read more »

Iowa Corn Growers applaud Branstad’s WOTUS move

The Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is applauding Governor Terry Branstad’s decision to join the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) lawsuit. ICGA president Bob Hemesath of Decorah says the rule is overreaching and could hamper the ability of Iowa farmers to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. “Because guys are trying to put conservation practices… Read more »

GE salmon: Let the debate begin

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The debate over genetically modified foods is likely to intensify following the FDA’s approval of genetically engineered salmon. It’s the first time a genetically engineered animal has been approved for human consumption. The organization called Friends of the Earth (FOE) has labeled the new product “frankenfish” and calls FDA’s approval “flawed and irresponsible”. FOE says… Read more »