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Web home of The Farm Journal Report.
If you'd like more information about the subjects covered in a show, check the list below for details about recent programs.
December 29: Pork producers in the United States are counting on healthy international markets to keep demand strong.
December 28: University of Minnesota senior Gabe Duncanson had a rather unconventional internship last summer. Duncanson is majoring in agricultural communications and marketing. His internship consisted of stays of one to two weeks on each of several different farms across the country.
December 26-27: My mother died in September and I dedicated these two episodes as a memorial tribute to her. Rosemari "Rosie" Anderson was a farm wife for practically all her adult life.
December 25: Jim Gulliford, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 (Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and nine tribal nations), says he would like the EPA to be viewed by farmers as more of an educator than an enforcer.
December 22: Don Close, the animal protein analyst for Rabo AgriFinance's RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness group, says beef expansion may run into a bottleneck with slaughter capacity limitations. However, he also predicts that continued low grain prices will help keep production costs down for beef producers.
December 20-21: The National Young Farmers Coalition has created what it calls the Young Farmer Agenda, an effort to pursuade state and federal ag policymakers to focus on assisting young people who wish to get into farming or ranching.
December 19: The beef checkoff program has revived the very successful "Beef: It's What's for Dinner" marketing campaign with a series of short videos about beef production.
December 18: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service has sent out questionnaires for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Farmers are required by law to complete the census (either the paper or online versions) by February 5, 2018. Results will not be reported by USDA/NASS until early 2019.
December 14-15: Microsoft's Rural Airband Initiative is working on ways to use empty over-the-air television channels to extend broadband internet service to unserved or underserved parts of rural America. Microsoft also has a project it calls FarmBeats that would provide a lower-cost way for farmers to get soil moisture and soil nutrient maps and to interpret the data from those maps.
December 13: Farmer Mac has just released the Winter 2017/18 edition of The Feed, a quarterly perspective on all things agriculture-related.
December 11-12: Jason Hafemeister, Trade Counsel to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, maintains that international trade is crucial to the economic health of American agriculture.
December 8: A company called tru Shrimp is building a shrimp farm in southern Minnesota that is expected to produce more than 8 million pounds of shrimp annually.
December 6-7: The American Farmland Trust has new research showing that the loss of farmland in the United States is more extensive than was thought previously. A report is scheduled to be released this month. Watch for the news here.
December 5: Protect the Harvest warns that a rule scheduled to go into effect December 18, 2017, requiring truckers to have electronic logging devices will have a negative impact on farmers and ranchers.
December 4: The Soil and Water Conservation Society is hosting a national conference on cover crops and soil health on Dec. 7-8 in Indianapolis.
December 1: Sea lice are infesting farmed salmon populations and causing headaches for aquaculture companies. Some innovative solutions are being used to combat these parasites.
November 30: You can watch a video clip from the AgDay television program about Adam Faust, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who has implemented equipment modifications on his farm to allow him to work even with a disability.
November 28-29: Michele Payn is a farmer, an author, and a public speaker from Indiana who focuses on advocating for agriculture. Her latest book is Food Truths from Farm to Table.
November 27: The fertilizer handling industry formed its own nonprofit entity to assist companies in becoming compliant with federal and state regulations affecting their business.
November 24: The USDA reports that cropland values (averaged nationwide) were unchanged from mid-2016 to mid-2017. Mike Walsten, editor of the LandOwner newsletter (a Farm Journal publication) expects some minor variations to occur but he sees the leveling off as a good sign. He thinks farmers have been conservative with land purchases since commodities prices fell off in recent years.
November 22-23: The Association of Equipment Manufacturers reports an increase this fall in sales of new combines and 4WD tractors. At the same time, Greg Peterson of MachineryPete.com says a lot of tractors are coming off-lease and entering the used tractor marketplace.
November 21: Hurricanes disrupted shipping at various ports in the United States, prompting Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, to suggest the country focus on strengthening our transportation infrastructure and even developing alternative shipping options to use in the event of stoppages.
November 20: Gary Schnitkey, an ag economist with the University of Illinois, says crop inputs--with the probable exception of fertilizer--will likely cost about the same in 2018 as they did this year. Fertilizer will likely be $10-15 per acre cheaper, he says. Schnitkey also predicts crop prices will remain the same as this year, as well.
November 13-17: The Farm Foundation held a public forum recently on the infrastructure needs of rural America. Audio from that forum (and others previous to this) is archived here.
November 8-10: Tom Okie is an assistant professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Georgia who specializes in agricultural history.
November 7: Country music superstar Luke Bryan, who grew up on a Georgia farm, does a concert "Farm Tour" each year to pay tribute to farming families and raise money for college scholarships for students from farming communities.
November 6: Dairy farms in South Dakota and Nebraska are producing more milk than local processors can handle. In fact, much of that production is going out of state. As a result, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska State Dairy Association are trying to recruit processors.
November 2-3: Nebraska journalist Ted Genoways new book, This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Farm Family, is now out. The book is an account of Genoways' experience with the Hammond family of Benedict, Nebraska. Genoways spent a significant part of Fall 2014 through Fall 2015 with the Hammonds and shares their story.
November 1: Steve Cubbage, a precision ag consultant and farmer from Nevada, Missouri, suggests that precision agriculture began 25 years ago with the commercial release of the first combine yield monitor.
October 31: Visitors come to the Kuehnert Dairy Farm near Fort Wayne, Indiana, each year for the farm's annual Fall Festival. Sarah Kuehnert is well qualified to answer their questions about dairy foods. She's a registered dietitian as well as a dairy farmer.
October 30: Manitowoc, Wisconsin, crop consultant Steve Hoffman says agricultural organizations should be more vocal in support of their industry. Hoffman is the 2017 president of the National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants.
October 25-27: Travis Davis grew up on a cattle ranch in northwestern South Dakota. He now works on rocket engine valves as an engineer for NASA. His rural background helped him land key interships with John Deere and Caterpillar that led to his connection with NASA.
October 24: Sola Gratia Farm in Urbana, Illinois, serves as a provider of fresh produce to local residents in need. The farm's operators also instruct local kids how to grow their own food.
October 23: University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers report that cow comfort has a dramatic impact on milk production in dairies.
October 16-20: Jason Clay, Senior VP, Markets and Food for the World Wildlife Fund, delivered a lecture recently at Kansas State University on "Feeding the World, Sustaining the Planet." You can view archived video of this lecture.
October 13: One of the purposes of the AgChat Foundation is to encourage farmers and ranchers to work together to send a message to consumers about the good things agriculture is doing. Executive Director Jenny Schweigert says when farmers take potshots at each other, it takes away from that message.
October 12: The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef was formed in 2015 as "a multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance, support, and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability of the U.S. beef value chain."
October 11: Matt and Marie Raboin make hard cider from the apples they grow on their farm near Barneveld, Wisconsin. Their company, Brix Cider, markets mainly in the Madison area.
October 10: Safety guidelines for youths working on the farm or ranch have been updated.
October 9: In the Summer/Fall 2017 edition of The Feed from Farmer Mac, livestock producers are projected to do better than their crop-raising counterparts and the overall farm income picture for 2017 is seen as improving over last year.
October 6: Though he's only 14 years old, Jake Riesdorf of Carmel, California, has his own beekeeping business and honey company. Riesdorf was honored by the Bayer Corporation for his work in promoting pollinators.
October 5: University of Wisconsin trials on growing tomatoes in high tunnels or hoop houses is helping to determine which tomato varieties grow best under those conditions. Advantages include a longer growing season, fewer disease problems, and higher yields overall.
October 4: Industrial hemp is making a comeback, thanks in part to efforts of folks like Brian Furnish, who raises hemp in Cynthiana, Kentucky, on land his family had grown tobacco on for generations.
October 3: A number of northern Michigan beef producers have shifted to grass feeding to take advantage of a local commitment to sourcing pasture-raised beef. They were assisted by Jason Rowntree of Michigan State University.
October 2: Tom Tracy, president and CEO of Farm Credit Illinois, thinks a lot of farmers went into the current downturn in the ag economy in a strong financial position and he suggests that has a lot to do with fewer farms than expected being in financial distress at the moment.
September 29: The Andersons, an agribusiness company based in Maumee, Ohio, gives back to the community in a number of ways.
September 28: If you rent farmland, it's good to stay in touch with your landlords and don't be afraid to tell them how things are going.
September 26-27: The Centers for Disease Control reports that even though rural Americans get cancer less often than their urban counterparts, the mortality rate from cancer is higher with rurals. The AgriSafe Network recommends regular physical exams to help diagnose problems as early as possible.
September 25: Arkansas cotton gins stay in business by updating technologies and equipment.
September 22: Former rescue dogs help with the truffle harvest in Tasmania.
September 21: Farm leaders and others offered opinions to correspondent Michelle Rook at the recent Farm Fest event in Morgan, Minnesota. Her report was included in the August 15th edition of the AgDay television program.
September 20: Google is teaming with 4-H on computer education for young folks.
September 19: Government agencies and health groups are targeting opioid abuse problems in rural America.
September 18: Farmers with stored old crop corn are facing a short window of selling opportunity before that bin space is needed for the new crop. Marketing expert Mike North of Commodity Risk Management Group (Platteville, Wisconsin) says a significant price rise is not likely for corn, unless yield forecasts are revised downward.
September 11-15: As trade officials from the United States, Canada, and Mexico continue discussing the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), correspondents with Farm Journal visited with folks on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border who have a stake in the outcome of those discussions. Here are links to expanded coverage of this week's programs: Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
September 8: Farmers do care about water quality and they're willing to work with their city neighbors to address water quality issues. An example is Yahara Pride Farms, a nonprofit started by local farmers to develop sustainable water solutions in the watershed surrounding Madison, Wisconsin.
September 6-7: Sara Burnett of Panera Bread says her company is very much involved in providing diners at their restaurants with "clean" food choices, and also sourcing meats that are antibiotic-free. But, she adds, that does not mean the company is opposed to all antibiotic uses in meat animal production. Burnett was part of a panel on Farm and Food Innovations at the Foodtank Summit in Boston last April.
September 5: Lindsey Shute, who operates a farm with her husband in upstate New York (she's also the executive director and co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition), encourages young farmers to consider livestock production--even though the enterprise is a target of animal welfare activists. Shute was part of a panel discussion on How to Make Farming More Attractive to Youth at the Foodtank Summit in Boston last April.
September 4: A Wisconsin dairy family had to sell their herd when, as a result of a Canadian import rule change, their processor cancelled their milk contract.
August 30-September 1: Rep. Jim McGovern (D., 2nd District) of Massachusetts pledges his support of continued nutrition funding in the next farm bill, as well as support for the portions of the bill that directly impact farmers and ranchers. McGovern delivered a keynote on the subject at the Foodtank Summit in Boston last April.
August 29: The University of Missouri is partnering with CoxHealth and Mercy Health Systems to build a new Patient-Centered Care Learning Center on the MU campus in Columbia, and a clinical campus facility in Springfield in an effort to keep more medical graduates working in the state--specifically, in underserved rural areas of Missouri.
August 28: The National Pork Producers Council supports the bill known as the "No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017," which would prevent states from passing laws or regulations that would ban the sale of out-of-state products that don't meet their criteria.
August 25: Charlie Arnot, CEO of the Center for Food Integrity, says the ways people shop for their food are changing from traditional methods. Also, he says, shoppers are also placing a much greater emphasis on freshness of the food they buy.
August 24: The newly-appointed chair of the Ag Economics department at Purdue University, Jayson Lusk, says events like Amazon's recent buyout of Whole Foods send ripples all the way through the food supply chain--and those ripples have an impact on farms and ranches.
August 23: Purdue University ag economist Mike Boehlje told a group at the recent Tomorrow's Top Producer seminar that farmers need to think like CEOs. His message was to look for opportunities during times of economic stress.
August 22: U.S. sugar producers hope to maintain provisions in the federal farm policy that protect them from trade violations by foreign competitors.
August 21: The most recent quality audit of the Beef Quality Assurance program shows areas of improvement since the last audit five years ago, but also areas where more work is needed.
August 18: Farmers in Frio County, Texas, show consumers where their food comes from and how much farmers actually get from the retail food dollar.
August 17: North Dakota farmers and ranchers are cutting hay on CRP acres in drought-stricken regions of the state.
August 16: Rabobank forecasts higher demand overseas for U.S. alfalfa. Western states are expected to benefit most, since they already account for about 90% of hay exports.
August 15: The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer MAC) and the American Bankers Association jointly surveyed ag lenders and found that about 90% of those lenders have seen declining farm profitability in the last 12 months.
August 14: Bob Utterback operates Utterback Marketing Services, a commodities brokerage firm in New Richmond, Indiana.
August 11: Batey Farms offers pick-your-own crops like strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, as well as other produce. The farm is near Murphreesboro, Tennessee.
August 10: Ken Ferrie is an agronomist who supervises the test plots in the Farm Journal Field Test program.
August 9: The Women, Food, and Agriculture Network's mission is to engage women in building an ecological and just food and agricultural system through individual and community power.
August 8: The USDA's Farm Service Agency operates a microloan program to help young and beginning farmers. One example of how the program operates is the story of Little Wild Things City Farm in Washington, D.C.
August 7: Paul Willis of Niman Ranch says his company offers scholarships to young people to help them come back to the farm with less student loan debt.. (Willis was part of a Foodtank panel discussion on making farming more attractive to youth. Video from the panel is available here, and Willis's comments come at about 03:30 into the clip.) Niman Ranch is a producer and marketer of naturally-raised beef, pork, and lamb.
August 4: Greg Thurman is board president of the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc., a trade association for custom harvesters.
August 3: Chris Galen is the Senior Vice President for Communications at the National Milk Producers Federation. You can read more about the Dairy Pride Act here.
August 2: Dr. Kevin Folta chairs the Horticulture Science department at the University of Florida. The documentary film, Food Evolution, is not expected to be shown in very many traditional movie theaters but groups and individuals can arrange for showings in other venues. You can also watch a trailer for the film here.
August 1: Dr. Aaron Hager is a weed specialist in Extension with the University of Illinois.
July 31: Parts of Montana and North Dakota were recently assigned D4 status--Exceptional Drought. The United States Drought Monitor shows that area to be having the most severe drought in the entire country right now. Doug Kluck, Central Region Climate Services Director with NOAA, says the drought is expected to persist in that area.
July 28: A group of students at Kansas State University took first place in the Demonstration Project category in the Environmental Protection Agency's Rainworks Challenge in 2016. Students were asked to design innovative "green" plans for managing stormwater runoff on their campuses.
July 27: Timothy Griffin from Tufts University in Boston says converting a farm from one enterprise to another doesn't happen overnight. (Griffin was part of a Foodtank panel discussion on making farming more attractive to youth. Video from the panel is available here, and Griffin's comments come at about 26:20 into the clip.)
July 24-26: The Wildfire Relief Challenge is a collaboration between The Farm Journal Foundation, Drovers magazine, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to raise funds to help pay for materials and labor to restore thousands of miles of fencing lost in spring wildfires. The Buffett Foundation will match the first $1 million in donations made up through July 31.
July 21: The Kellogg Company has farmers tell their stories to help educate consumers about their food at a website called Open for Breakfast.
July 20: Matthew Dillon, Director of Agricultural Policy and Programs for the Clif Bar Company, suggests that land grant universities do more in the way of seed breeding for the benefit of local or regional production. (Dillon was part of a Foodtank panel discussion on making farming more attractive to youth. Video from the panel is available here, and Dillon's comments come at about 14:35 into the clip.)
July 19: A device called the Mighty Mite Killer raises and maintains the temperature in a beehive to the point where parasitic varroa mites infecting the bees are killed, but the bees are not harmed.
July 17-18: Consolidation may be a good thing when it comes to farm cooperatives, according to research by Dr. Keri Jacobs, professor of economics at Iowa State University.
July 14: Follow the world of farm machinery--including collectibles and antiques--at the Machinery Pete website.
July 13: Farm bankruptcy rates are not a dramatic as one might expect, based on research by economists Ani Katchova and Robert Dinterman at The Ohio State University, but they could rise.
July 12: Jim Dickrell, editor of Dairy Herd Management, offers some observations about the return on investment for various precision dairy technologies.
July 11: Minnesota has legislated a program to assist young and beginning farmers by offering tax credit incentives to landowners who rent or sell land or assets to those beginning farmers. The law takes effect in 2018.
July 10: The Spring 2017 issue of The Feed, a quarterly analysis of agriculture by Farmer Mac, includes information about the rising cost of farm labor and the shortage of workers to fill farm jobs.
July 7: The National Pork Producers Council and other farm groups are encouraging support for a farm bill provision to bolster the vaccine bank for foot and mouth disease.
July 6: Mike Steenhoek is executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.
July 5: The Farmers National Company provides professional farm management services to farmland owners, as well as real estate sales.
July 4: The Rural Mainstreet Index tracks the status of the rural economy in the United States. It's produced by Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.