Record organic sales despite supply struggles

The Organic Trade Association says U.S. organic sales hit a new record in 2015 even with supply chain gaps. The Association’s 2016 industry survey says the organic market saw the largest annual dollar gain, up over $4 billion in sales from the previous year. Total organic sales for 2015 were $43.3 billion, up 11 percent… Read more »

Southern Indiana rain delays planting

A break in the weather allowed Central and Northern Indiana farmers to finally make significant progress with corn and soybean planting.  The southern part of the state, however, is delayed by cool, rainy weather. Soybean planting is 40% complete in the North, 36% in Central, and 9% in the South. Corn planting is 72% done… Read more »

North Dakota’s Hoeven proposes change to ARC yield calculation method

North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven has added an amendment to USDA’s funding bill to correct inaccuracies in Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) county-level payment calculations.  Hoeven, a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, says ARC county payments are determined with National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) yield data, which Hoeven says sometimes differs from actual… Read more »

Most Missouri corn up, cotton planting ahead of normal

Rain limited Missouri fieldwork this past week. That brings topsoil moisture supplies to 92 percent adequate to surplus. Most of the corn – 93 percent – is up, and that’s 22 points ahead of normal. Soybean planting is 46 percent complete. Cotton planting is 95 percent complete, 17 percentage points ahead of normal.  Ninety-six percent… Read more »

Illinois soybean planting passes the half-way point

Cool temperatures slowed corn and soybean emergence in Illinois this past week.  Topsoil moisture is 97 percent adequate to surplus.  Illinois corn planting is 89 percent done, which is close to normal.  The corn crop is 66 percent good to excellent.  Soybean planting is just over half done.  Winter wheat is 88 percent headed and… Read more »

USDA says corn planting done in Minnesota

The USDA says corn planting is finished in Minnesota with soybeans not far behind. The latest Crop Progress report indicates farmers took advantage of six days of good weather last week to wrap up corn planting while soybeans closed in on 90 percent complete. Nearly 80 percent of the state’s corn crop has now emerged,… Read more »

Senate GMO labeling bill will need House support

The ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee says the GMO labeling bill being worked on in the Senate needs to be similar to the legislation passed in the House last year. Collin Peterson of Minnesota tells Brownfield the House version is pre-emption with a voluntary labeling system. “If (the Senate) gets too far off… Read more »

Peterson meeting with “Big Oil” to find middle ground

As the debate rages on over the Renewable Fuels Standard, the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee has begun meeting with lawmakers from Big Oil states to find middle ground. Congressman Collin Peterson says too much is being made of EPA’s recent announcement of renewable volume obligations (RVO) for 2018. “I’ve already had some… Read more »

Stabenow and Roberts working GMO labeling?

Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow says she and Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts have finally sat down to talk about GMO labeling. “I’ve been putting together various proposals and working with the Chairman.”  She says, “Five weeks ago I gave him complete legislation and this week he finally wanted to sit down and talk about… Read more »

Ag banks say they can’t compete

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When times get tough, ag bankers say they can’t compete with the Farm Credit System. During Thursday’s Senate Ag Committee hearing on the farm credit system, Gus Barker, president of an Iowa community bank, testified on behalf of Independent Community Bankers of America.  “I cannot compete with the Farm Credit Services, they have a funding structure… Read more »