Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
Greg Doud holds a job of major importance to U.S. agriculturalists: chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Darci Vetter, Richard Crowder and Allen Johnson held the same job before him. The four got together May 22 in Washington, D.C., to share their views on "Trade War or Rhetoric?", a look at current world trade issues. The session, sponsored by the Farm Forum Foundation, was open online to the news media and others.
American dairy farmers say their product often is misunderstood, in many cases because of what they claim is deceptive advertising. Now they've launched a "tongue-in-cheek" video as the newest installment in their Peel Back the Label campaign. The video features two make-believe food executives discussing how to separate their product from similar products. Their discussion includes the use of terms like "non-GMO" and "natural." Click here to view the video.
It's an Upper Midwest agricultural truism, or a statement so obviously true that it says nothing original: Modern farm equipment allows rapid planting and harvest progress when the weather cooperates. Original or not, it held true in the week ending May 20. Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota farmers made major planting gains after what had slower-than-ideal planting earlier this spring, according to the weekly planting progress report released May 21 by the National Agricultural Statistic Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
North Dakota and western Minnesota potato growers have an improved tool to fight a dangerous crop disease. The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network, or NDAWN, has launched its Potato Blight app for Apple and Android phones and tablets. "We want to give our growers tools they can use in their fields," said Andrew Robinson, potato extension specialist for both North Dakota and Minnesota.
Value-added agriculture — in which a raw ag commodity is changed into something new and of greater economic value — is the holy grail of U.S. farmers and farm groups. Now, a new report finds big benefits to ag businesses that received funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Value-Added Producer Grant program, which provided 2,345 grants with a total value of $318 million to farmers and ranchers farm 2001 to 2015.
Upper Midwest farmers really wanted good planting weather — and they generally got it in the week ending May 13, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Monday, May 14. Producers in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota made rapid planting progress overall during the week, said the new weekly report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the USDA
A few years ago, I was driving near the outskirts of Fargo, N.D., the state's largest city and one that's grown steadily for decades. A person who knew didn't know much about agriculture was in the car with me. As we drove, we passed a subdivision half-filled with newly built and still-under-construction houses. Around most of the subdivision were thriving fields of corn and soybeans; Fargo is in the heart of the the Red River Valley of the North, which boasts some of the world's finest farmland. "It's nice to see new houses going up," the other person said.
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn. — Minnesota farmers are good at growing wheat; they've been doing it since the early 1850s. But there's always more to learn, and Minnesota Wheat is helping farmers do so. "We hear from growers about their concerns and gear our trials to that," Lauren Prouix says. She and Melissa Geiszler are the Minnesota Wheat On-Farm Research Network's on-farm research coordinators
A new report reinforces what most everyone in U.S. food production already knows: Development is irreversibly diminishing the limited supply of U.S. farmland, raising serious food-production, economic and environmental concerns. But the report from American Farmland Trust also finds that the loss of farmland is much greater than was generally known. Almost 31 million acres, double the amount previously documented, were lost to development from 1992 to 2012, according to "Farms Under Threat: The State of America's Farmland."
A lot of work remains, but Upper Midwest farmers finally made a strong start to the 2018 planting season. Wheat, oats, barley and sugar beets all enjoyed substantial gains in planted acreage in the week ending May 6, according to the weekly crop progress report released May 7 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.