Climate change caused $11 billion in soybean losses

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have determined climate change has cost U.S. soybean growers $11 billion over the last 20 years. U.W. Extension soybean and wheat specialist and agronomy professor Shawn Conley says they used data gathered from variety field trials in many of the states involved in the study.  That gave them reliable,… Read more »

California drought impacting state economy

California is heading into its fourth consecutive year of drought.  California Water Alliance executive director Aubrey Bettencourt says the drought continues to put strain on the state’s ag economy.  “Last year UC Davis estimated about 17,000 people unemployed that are directly connected to agriculture,” she says.  “Then you look at the fact that about $2… Read more »

Starting planting season off right

As farmers prepare for the spring planting season, an agronomist says there are a few things they can do to set themselves up for a successful growing season. Even with lower commodity prices, Robert Mullen, agronomic contributor for PotashCorp, says fertilizer should be part of that plan.  “Use a starter, position yourself for success within your… Read more »

USDA extends safety net program sign-up

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Earlier today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided farm owners with an additional week to make their safety net program selection and update their yield history and base acres. USDA Farm Service Agency administrator Val Dolcini says these programs are important decision for producers.  “These programs help protect farmers from unexpected changes in the marketplace,” he… Read more »

USDA extends deadline for ARC/PLC again

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The USDA has extended the deadline for farmers to choose a Farm Bill safety net program. The first extension was through March 31st, but now sign-up has been extended through Tuesday, April 7th. The deadline for updating yield history and/or reallocation of base acres has also been extended through April 7th along with the choice… Read more »

Free nematode testing for Wisconsin soybean growers

The Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board is again offering free expanded nematode testing this year. Expanded testing not only looks for the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) but other pest nematodes as well. SCN eggs persist in soil between soybean crops so samples can be taken at any time. Extension specialist Shawn Conley suggests sampling early in… Read more »

New uses great opportunity for soybean growers

Indiana Soybean Alliance endowed chair for new uses at Purdue University Nathan Moser says developing new uses for soybeans creates real and lasting economic benefits for soybean farmers not just in Indiana, but across the country. He tells Brownfield developing new products that use soybeans requires innovation.  “We really need to have new scientist, technicians,… Read more »

Professor tells house committee that GMOs should not be labeled

Molecular biology and genetics professor Nina Fedoroff says genetic modification has a good history.  She was among the witnesses testifying at the House Agriculture Committee’s GMO labeling hearing concur that genetically modified foods are no more of a threat than products from conventionally bred plants and animals. “GM crops have been in commercial production for… Read more »

Illinois Ag Dept. seeks specialty crop grant proposals

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for federal specialty crop grants.  Illinois is getting about $600,000 from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to enhance the competitiveness of Illinois-grown specialty crops in domestic and foreign markets. Farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community-sponsored agriculture programs can submit grant proposals until May 1st. The 2012… Read more »

FDA declares GM apples, potatoes safe and nutritious

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has evaluated several varieties of genetically engineered apples and potatoes and found them to be as safe and nutritious as their conventional counterparts. The FDA evaluated Okanagan’s Granny Smith and Golden Delicious apples, known as “Arctic Apples.” The agency also evaluated a half dozen varieties of Simplot’s genetically engineered… Read more »