Larger farms continue to have more expensive equipment

The Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association says the total value of machinery continues to increase with farm acreage. CEO Dwight Raab tells Brownfield each year the group surveys Illinois farmers to benchmark machinery costs and its value to farmers.  “It gives those operating in production agriculture an idea of how maybe to benchmark where… Read more »

Tough times for cotton producers

These are tough times for U.S. cotton producers. The crop is at its lowest price level in five years, selling for around 60 cents a pound. It brought 88 cents a pound in 2011. Dahlen Hancock, who farms near Lubbock Texas, says it’s very discouraging right now. “This my 35th cotton crop. I’m fourth generation… Read more »

Weather challenges for Texas cotton growers

This week’s freezing rain, snow, and at times heavy rainfall could cause big problems for Texas cotton producers. USDA meteorologist Eric Luebehusen says the National Weather Service has much of the cotton producing regions of north Texas in a path of freezing rain accumulations of greater than one-quarter of an inch. According to the latest Crop Report –… Read more »

Ethanol could be the next big thing in exports

Nebraska farmer and chairman of the US Grains Council (USGC) Alan Tiemann says his organization is working to make ethanol “the next big thing” for US exports. “We have an established relationship around the world in DDGs,” he says.  “Ethanol is just the next step in moving corn as a value added product around the… Read more »

Will Congress keep its promise on crop insurance cuts?

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Some ag group leaders are not totally convinced that Congress will keep its promise to exclude crop insurance cuts from the upcoming omnibus budget bill. Ag leaders in the House and Senate say they have assurances that those cuts, which are part of a Congressional budget agreement, will be restored. But some question just how… Read more »

FSA’s ARC-CO changes welcomed

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently modified the way farmers can calculate ARC-County payments for farms in multiple counties. Brad Lubben, Extension policy specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says farmers will now be allowed to calculate ARC-County on the physical location of each tract of the farm, instead of the administrative county. “The producers… Read more »

Water quality database launched

The National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and other ag groups have partnered with the Water Environment Research Foundation to create a database to help improve water quality in agricultural areas. The Agricultural Best Management Practices Database will be a central location of agricultural best management practice performance studies. Fourth-generation Ohio farmer Brent… Read more »

Reducing nutrient loss benefits everyone

An agriculture policy specialist says everybody wins when nutrient loss can be reduced.  Jonathan Coppess of the University of Illinois cites the Des Moines water works suit against upstream counties it says are responsible for the nitrates that Des Moines has to remove from the water. “I don’t think it’s going too far to say… Read more »

Next phase in controlling herbicide-resistant weeds

The president of the Weed Science Society of America says the next phase in combatting herbicide-resistant weeds has to do with how farmers control them. Kevin Bradley describes resistant weeds as a ‘wicked’ problem. “It’s a very complex problem with a lot of moving parts and almost unsolvable (where) one thing impacts another.” He says… Read more »

Drone used to drop good bugs on crops

Bug dropping drones are being used on some crops in Australia. A University of Queensland student has come up with a way for drones to put the beneficial “californicus mite” onto crops from the air, using a special container to hold them and a spreader. The good bugs eat the crop harming bugs, which include… Read more »