APH could be ‘lifeline’ for drought plagued growers

The new farm bill provision called Actual Production History Yield Exclusion (APH) has the potential to be a lifeline for farmers following crop losses due to bad weather.  Texas Panhandle farmer Wade Cowan tells Brownfield he’s had four years of drought that were preceded by a hail-out. “Basically we’ve been sitting for the last five… Read more »

NCBA says COOL has to go

Following the latest rebuke by the WTO of the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is renewing its call for COOL to be repealed. “We have looked at this every way we possibly can and there is no change that the Secretary of Agriculture can make that would… Read more »

Pesticide drift rating available

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new voluntary Drift Reduction Technology (DRT) program for pesticides.  The goal is to reduce pesticide drift, reducing costs and protecting neighbors.  EPA says up to $640 million is lost each year to pesticide drift. With DRT, manufacturers can test technologies including nozzles, spray shields and drift reduction… Read more »

R-CALF says COOL is working

The head of R-CALF USA says regardless of what is going on with the World Trade Organization on U.S. Country of Origin Labeling, the program is working. “Consumers are preferring a domestic product. They’re looking for the labels. And, that makes the Canadian and Mexican beef less competitive in our marketplace. That’s why problems that… Read more »

COOL Reform Coalition urges compliance first

A coalition of U.S. business groups wants Congress to intervene now that the World Trade Organization has ruled that the USDA’s remedy for Country of Origin Labeling is lacking. Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, one of the coalition groups, says without intervening, the standing of the U.S. in… Read more »

Grassley says Congress needs to revisit COOL

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Congress needs to “go back to the drawing board” on Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). Grassley was reacting to the WTO’s ruling that USDA’s revised COOL rule unfairly discriminates against Canada and Mexico. The National Farmers Union doesn’t want Congress to tamper with the COOL law. The group argues that… 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 »

Dairy expansion should continue in 2015

The monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook from USDA on Friday projecting that farm milk prices should peak-out this month and then start declining.  But cheap feed should keep the milk-to-feed ratio at a level conducive to herd expansion. The U.S. dairy herd is expected to increase from 9.26 million head this year to 9.335… Read more »

EPA analysis on soybean neonic treatments

Benefits of ‘neonic’ seed treatments for insect control in soybeans have been analyzed by the Environmental Protection Agency which concludes there are little to no yield benefits. The EPA analysis compared soybean yields from using most neonicotinoid seed treatments to using no pest control at all.  The agency says alternative insecticides applied as sprays are… Read more »

USDA commits $1.4 billion to rural electricity

USDA announcing $1.4 billion in loan guarantees to improve the delivery of electricity to rural communities in 21 states.  The guarantees include $106 million for smart grid technologies and $3 million for renewable energy programs and systems. In making the announcement, U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said; “With the help of investments such as these… Read more »