In its fourth-annual research project focused on consumers and food, Charleston|Orwig uncovered ample opportunities for companies across the food system to engage with consumers. Results showed that consumers want to know how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) affect health—theirs and their family’s—and are less concerned with political or moral issues surrounding GMOs.
Prior to the arrival of heavy rain across the southern Plains, multiple rounds of heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms crossed the central Plains, Midsouth, and Midwest. Weekly rainfall totaled 4 inches or more in numerous locations across the central and southern Plains, Tennessee Valley, and southwestern Corn Belt.
While 33% working capital to revenue is appropriate for cash grain and market livestock businesses because of significant inventory, is this level of working capital too aggressive for dairies, since milk inventory is picked up every day or every other day?...More
China is a rising economic power and with that status it will become a bigger partner in world economic trade. It will require China to step up to the plate in environmental and social issues and they will be criticized by neighboring countries that are sometimes threatened, particularly in that region of the world....More
The number of farms in the United States in 2013 was estimated at 2.10 million, down 7 thousand farms from 2012. Total land in farms, at 914 million acres, decreased 360 thousand acres from 2012. The average farm size in 2013 was 435 acres, up 2 acres from the previous year.
From what I am hearing most end-users are about 65-75% covered through July but have next to nothing done for August. Obviously everybody is hoping imports will help resolve the situation, but no one is clearly certain about how this game will end.
Soybean traders are digesting the fact the US planting pace is now AHEAD of our traditional average. The USDA released data yesterday showing that 59% of the crop is now planted vs. 41% last year and 56% on average. In addition 25% of the crop is now "emerged" vs....More
The U.S. economy is showing mixed signals. The lead economic index (LEI) which foretells the future of the economy has been increasing in recent months, most recently up 0.4%, which is bullish for the economy. Sixty percent of the factors that make up the LEI are exhibiting positive signs....More
Bears continue to feel the pain and side-effects of Injuries sustained by the sudden and unexpected jerking of the markets higher. I continue to monitor both the NOV14 and NOV15 soybean contracts in hopes of making another round of sales and further reducing downside risk and exposure....More
The hour and a half flight to Roanoke seemed like ten minutes as the discussion flowed from investment strategies, to the state of the U.S. and global economy, to federal debt. To my delight, I discovered the head coach actually teaches political science at Whitewater and was interested in my thoughts not only on economics, but also geopolitical trends, with his students actually listening. In discussions with key players, they indicated that the coach not only taught them basketball, but much about life as well....More
While I was traveling in Canada conducting seminars, my standard operating procedure was to take only written questions from the participants. This technique works like a charm, since most questions are well thought out. The following question centered on transition management....More
Agriculture stories you should read today remind growers to check seedling stands and sprouting seeds for signs of disease. They also offer suggestions on soybean planting depth, and a look into research regarding benefits of GMO crops and research regarding climate change. Lastly, check out a new documentary, Farmland. You'll be glad you did....More
A recent review of biotech, or GM (GMO), crops shows that they offer major environmental benefits and allow farmers to grow more acres with fewer resources. In the 17 years of adoption, genetically modified crops delivered more environmentally friendly farming practices while providing clear improvements to farmer productivity, says Graham Brookes, co-author of the PG Economics report....More
When a group of anti-GMO activists confronted some corn farmers at a convention, Mike Petefish, Claremont, Minn., farmer, calmly approached them to present the scientific facts on GMOs. The 29-year-old farmer has an undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Plant Biology and a Master’s in Agronomy. “I just talk to people about the truth of the matter, from my perspective,” he says....More
The 2012 Ag Census data, showed a decrease in total farm numbers, with a lot of variation relative to farm size and scope, as well as increases in the number of minority farm operators, large increases in total farm sales, and many other interesting trends....More
The lender can play a role as a quarterback, keeping the ball rolling by directing stakeholders, owners and managers, as well as diverting the business toward qualified professionals to develop a customized solution for each individual business. The lender can also act as a third-party facilitator to keep the process moving and keep various family, partner and stakeholder egos out of the personal “swamp issues," says David Kohl....More
A provision in the 2014 Farm Bill links conservation compliance to crop insurance premiums; specifically, wetlands and highly erodible land. Farmers who don’t comply will be ineligible for any portion of the crop insurance paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The ineligibility applies only to forward years....More
The USDA has released more data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The final report has been published online and is broken down into a U.S. summary, state data, county data and specialty crops. Puerto Rico results, as well as some other details, are expected next month. The USDA has also created infographics illustrating the results....More
Agriculture stories you should read today offer you a chance to comment to the EPA and learn more about corn rootworm resistance and sign up for succession planning workshops. They also remind growers that while planting, insecticide dust can impact bees, and that sometimes the rock that looks like a football on the surface is so large all you can do is bury it again....More
Approximately 85% of agricultural businesses have no estate or transition plan in place. One of the most helpful resources a producer can draw upon in this challenging task is their agricultural lender....More
More than 50% of surveyed farmers want their local retailers to provide help to monitor soil health and changes related to cover crops. And, farmers also said they want their retailers to help them adjust their nutrient management plan to factor in the use of cover crops....More
A farmer who talked to me recently about the financial challenges many farmers face got me thinking about the English proverb “Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor.” He shared his strategy that has helped him the most – to be successful and to have the confidence he has today – wasn’t the years with good prices or bumper crops, but the challenging, uncertain years....More
At a recent seminar, panelists concluded that there is no cookie-cutter template for farm transition, and that each plan must be customized to meet the needs of the generations, partners and stakeholders involved. Family business meetings need to be held off-site with agendas and minutes, creating a paper trail as a means of communication for all parties....More
Africa’s Guinea savannah is “one of the largest underused agricultural land reserves in the world,” according to a 2009 World Bank study that found 990 million acres suited for agriculture, of which less than 10% was in crops....More