Report urges water saving

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization – the FAO – says over-consumption of water and the impact of climate change threaten food security and water supplies in the world’s neediest regions.  The organization says there WILL be enough water to produce food for 9 billion people in 2050, but production has to be done sustainably… Read more »

Global Dairy Trade index declines

The semi-monthly Global Dairy Trade auction Wednesday saw the overall price index decline another 3.6 percent.  This is the third consecutive decline putting the index back to where it was on December 16th. Of the eight products offered for sale, four saw price decreases from the last auction: rennet casein was 0.6 percent lower, whole… Read more »

Anticipation of a big corn carryout

Analysts say for the first time in 10 years, the US could see a 2 billion bushel carryout on corn.  John Newton, assistant professor at the University of Illinois, says the potential for that number also brings up concerns about commodity prices.  “At that point in time the marketing year average for corn was $2… Read more »

FAS Administrator says now’s the time for TPA

Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Phil Karsting says granting the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will help the U.S. maintain its global agriculture trade status.  The last five years of U.S. agriculture exports Karsting calls remarkable. “In Fiscal Year 2014 we exported $152.5 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States,” Karsting told Brownfield Ag… Read more »

IL Soybean likes latest U.S./Cuba step

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The chairman of the Illinois Soybean Growers says they are pleased President Obama has taken another step in easing trade relations with Cuba.  Obama and the State Department have recommended removing Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.  Cuba has been on that list for 33 years. Illinois Soybean Chairman Bill Raben says… Read more »

Australia’s largest cattle company for sale

One of Australia’s largest cattle companies is on the market.  It’s big – 38,600 square miles – about the size of Hungary, and it’s getting the attention of foreign investors. It was founded 116 years ago by Sir Sidney Kidman, and his descendants still control the company, Australia’s biggest landowner. It has 11 cattle stations,… Read more »

Tractor sales continue to slide

U.S. tractor sales continue to lag behind a year ago.  The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says 15,837 farm tractors were sold in March, down 9 percent from March of 2014. Two-wheel-drive sales were more than 8 percent lower at 15,461 including a 23 percent drop in sales of two-wheel-drives over 100 horsepower. Four-wheel-drive tractor… Read more »

How drought is changing California agriculture

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California’s extreme drought is entering its fifth year and it is devastating California’s agricultural economy. Cannon Michael’s sixth generation family farm is in the heart of California’s Central Valley.  Because of the historical time Michael’s family farm has been in business, he is in a pre-1914 Water Rights Area and because of those rights, they… Read more »

Understanding the acreage shift

Planted corn acres peaked in 2012 and every year since then, Purdue ag economist Chris Hurt says corn acres have been on the decline.  “It’s actually about 7 million acres that we’ve dropped,” he says. He tells Brownfield part of the reason acres have been declining is because corn demand for ethanol leveled off after… Read more »

U.S. will press China on biotech approval process

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U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the U.S. will continue to press China to streamline its biotech approval process. Vilsack says it will be the focus of a Strategic Agricultural Innovation Dialogue between the two countries later this year. “(We’ll discuss) how innovation can help both the Chinese and American producers—and not only create opportunities… Read more »