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 »

MU Farm Program meetings in November

Four meetings are being held for Missouri farmers looking for assistance in deciding which farm programs to choose. The University of Missouri is hosting the free meetings on November 10, 11 and 12th to be led by M-U Extension specialists: November 10, Miner-Sikeston area, Miner Convention Center (10 am til 2 pm) November 11, Macon,… Read more »

USDA increases effort against resistant weeds

USDA is taking several steps to address the increase of herbicide-resistant weeds in U.S. fields.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service will offer financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for herbicide-resistant weed control practices which use Integrated Pest Management. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will actively promote the use of best… Read more »

Rain continues to slow harvest

Both corn and soybean harvest were slowed and in some cases shut down last week by frequent rainfall, but milder weather allowed harvest activities to resume towards the end of the week. According to the latest Indiana Crop and Weather report, just 25 percent of Indiana’s corn crop has been harvested and 26 percent of soybeans. … Read more »

Don’t hijack the Checkoff

The Indiana Beef Cattle Association joined 44 other state cattlemen’s associations in sending a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack opposing an additional beef checkoff under the 1996 General Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act. Joe Moore, executive vice-president of ICBA says one of the concerns is that the 1996 Act fails to assure that… Read more »

Common Sense Nebraska’s analysis

The Nebraska coalition that’s fighting the EPA’s proposed Waters of the U.S. rule has released an analysis by a former director of the state’s Environmental Quality Department. Mike Linder told reporters this morning, there’s a large part of the Clean Water Act run by the states and the EPA rule would confuse that, “The fear would be that… Read more »

FSA’s Dolcini on ARC/PLC

A reminder from USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini regarding the new Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill: In August, farmers should have received notices in the mail with information on their base acres and planting history. These letters are an important part of… Read more »