Conservation assistance available to Michigan farmers

Michigan farmers have until December 18th to apply for environmental incentive funding with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Michigan State Conversationalist Garry Lee tells Brownfield the Environmental Quality Incentives program in Michigan has set aside $500,000 of financial assistance for farmers working toward verification with the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). “Farmers who… Read more »

Net Farm Income drops 38%

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The latest report from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) says net farm income will be down 38 percent this year. This would be the largest single-year decline since 1983 in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms.  Net cash income is forecast at $93 billion down 28 percent from 2014. Crop receipts are projected to be $186… Read more »

EPA launches ‘Nutrient Recycling Challenge’

In an effort to surface new ideas for recycling livestock manure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched the “Nutrient Recycling Challenge”, a competition to develop new manure recycling technologies. According to EPA agriculture advisor Ron Carleton, the agency is seeking ideas for cost-effective technologies that extract nutrients—specifically nitrogen and/or phosphorus—from cow or hog manure… Read more »

China reportedly to move and review biotech

China reportedly has agreed to move and review 11 ag biotech events that are pending approval. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S Ambassador to China Max Baucus participated in the just completed US-China Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade. According to Feedstuffs, Vilsack said he hopes that China will take action on those during… Read more »

Ethanol industry continues to defend RFS

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An ethanol industry official says “Big Oil” is making a last-ditch effort to discredit the benefits of ethanol before the EPA’s final RFS rule is announced. Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy says it’s because the renewable fuels industry has taken 10 percent of the oil industry’s market share.  “Part of their purpose of rolling… Read more »

Cover crops play a role in combating climate change

A water policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says cover crops are playing a big role in combating climate change.  Over the past five years, farmers in the nation’s 10 top agriculture producing states have lost more than $25 billion worth of crops because of weather related problems. Ben Chou says researchers… Read more »

AFBF director sees three ag priorities in DC

The American Farm Bureau’s head lobbyist says it is likely three key issues involving agriculture will be resolved in Congress by the end of the year.   Mary Kay Thatcher tells Brownfield the first has to do with just getting the omnibus budget bill done. “The deadline on that is December 11th…it could slip.  I… Read more »

Cattleman wants small business size standards to rest with agency

Cattle producer Jeff Beasley says Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards for farms need to be updated to reflect the volume of business done on today’s operations.  Beasley, who raises cattle in southern Illinois, tells Brownfield any farm doing more than $750,000 in gross receipts annually does not qualify for SBA loans. “That $750,000 level… Read more »

Biofuels study shows big reduction of GHGs

A new analysis of biofuels consumed under the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) shows they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 354 million metric tons since 2008. That’s a greater number than anticipated, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) which sponsored the study (conducted by Life Cycle Associates, based in California). The RFA says… Read more »

China still not sold on GMOs

China has voiced concerns about GMO foods in the just completed U.S./China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. A report in the Wall Street Journal says China’s Vice Premier said many in China oppose biotechnology “on scientific grounds.”  China allows a few GMO crops to be imported for animal feed. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack is… Read more »