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 »

Abengoa seeks creditor protection

Renewable energy company Abengoa has filed for preliminary protection from its creditors, a possible prelude to bankruptcy. Abengoa operates ethanol plants near Madison and Mount Vernon, Illinois; Ravenna and York, Nebraska; Portales, New Mexico; and Colwich, Kansas. Earlier this year, the company opened a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Hugoton, Kansas. The company is based in… Read more »

Ethanol volume requirements will steer corn demand

As the agriculture community awaited the Obama Administration’s announcement on the Renewable Volume Obligation, an ethanol specialist talked about the bearing that the ethanol volume requirements will have on corn demand.  Dave Loos, with the Illinois Corn Growers Association, says administration proposals for ethanol volumes are less than Congress intended when it originally approved the… Read more »

Grassley: Many factors to consider in TPP decision

Senate Ag Committee member Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he has not yet read the 3,000 pages of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement but from all reports he’s seen, it should be positive for agriculture. “From what I’ve heard from agricultural people that have been following it for six years, it seems to me… Read more »

Managing the farm in tough economic times

An agronomist says he’s heard a lot of farmers talk about cutting back on crop inputs for 2016 to maximize their returns on investment. Jason Webster, innovation lead for Beck’s says that decision might come with some consequences.  “We don’t want to set a grower up for disaster,” he says.  “When I look at fertilizer… Read more »

EPA reverses course on Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide

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In a surprise move, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn its approval of Dow AgroScience’s Enlist Duo herbicide. In announcing its decision Wednesday, the EPA cited concerns about the herbicide’s potential impact on endangered plants and animals covered under the Endangered Species Act. The agency said new information has surfaced that could lead it… Read more »

Foundation push for Cornerstone Dairy Academy

Each year, the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin conduct the Cornerstone Dairy Academy.  Described as an “elite development program for students and dairy professionals”, the two-day event is designed to enhance professionalism, communications and leadership skills.  Attendees are selected through an application process.  The program is open to interested producers in all states. The Academy… Read more »

Preparing for another battle with avian flu

The Indiana State Poultry Association says as weather cools the state’s poultry producers are preparing to protect their operations from another round of avian influenza. Paul Brennan, executive vice-president of the organization says the state’s poultry industry is increasing its efforts and awareness when it comes to biosecurity.  “We’re working with our board of animal… Read more »

CHS earnings down 28%

CHS reports earnings for Fiscal 2015 or $781 million down 28 percent from FY 2014. The nation’s largest farmer-owned cooperative says revenues were down 19 percent at $34.6 billion due mainly to lower commodity, grain and energy values. Ag segment earnings were $149.6 million for the year down 30 percent from last year. Energy earnings… Read more »

USMEF head more optimistic about China

The head of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) is optimistic that U.S. beef exports to China could resume in 2016. The Chinese market has been closed to U.S. beef since the first case of BSE in the U.S. in 2003. But USMEF president and CEO Phil Seng says he senses a renewed commitment to… Read more »