Wind energy transmission line hearing in Missouri

A wind energy company has proposed a 750-mile overhead transmission line to deliver wind energy to 14 states including Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. A hearing this week by the Missouri Public Service Commission let opponents and supporters of the Grain Belt Express speak out about the line in Missouri. The line would start with… Read more »

Farm groups ask the President to intervene on RFS

Several farm groups have sent a letter to President Obama asking him, “to intervene with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding its proposed cuts in the 2014 volume obligations for the Renewable Fuel Standard.” The letter states that when the RFS was established in 2005 it spurred American agriculture to build and expand feedstocks and… Read more »

American Honey Princess in Wisconsin

American Honey Princess Susannah Austin is spending this week in Wisconsin.  The Florida college student is visiting schools and will attend the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association annual meeting later in the week. She says the industry is making progress on Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), mites and viruses which have been taking their toll on bee… Read more »

Wisconsin propane terminal nears completion

  CHS is nearing completion of the new propane terminal at Hixton, Wisconsin.  An open house was held Thursday with Governor Walker in attendance.   CHS vice president of propane, Drew Combs says, “The secure terminal, which uses modern automation and safety technologies, will be completed in mid-November.” CHS decided to build the terminal as part… Read more »

Study raises no-till yield concerns

A study on the global yield impact of no-till farming says it shows promise in dryland areas but may not be the answer to increased yields as predicted elsewhere. The University of California-Davis led the international research analysis of the conservation agriculture method. A University of Illinois Crop sciences researcher co-authored the study. They examined… Read more »

Wisconsin water use declined in 2013

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says surface and groundwater use declined six percent in 2013 compared to 2012 reaching a three-year low.  The Department’s annual Wisconsin Water Use and Withdrawal Summary cites cooler temperatures and more normal rainfall as the main reasons for the decline compared to the drought of 2012. A total of… 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 »

CDFA offers drought assistance

The State of California continues to work on ways to save water as they suffer through a fourth year of drought.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for a second round of State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) funding.  Farmers can get financial assistance to install systems which save water… 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 »

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 »