Jonathan Knutson / Agweek Staff Writer
Nearly 250 organizations have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee opposing the nomination of Scott Hutchins as chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The letter, signed by 245 groups representing farming, farmworker, public health, labor, food safety and environmental interests, noted that Hutchins spent more than 30 years of his career working at Dow AgroSciences with a focus on pesticides.
Uncooperative mid-November weather has further slowed harvest and the Upper Midwest harvest pace remains behind normal, a new government report says. But farmers continue to make progress, albeit slow, combining soybeans, the crop that has been raising the most concern. More than 90 percent of soybeans in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are now harvested, according to the weekly crop progress report released Nov. 13 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
GRAND FORKS. N.D. — Net farm income is at lowest level in 10 years, reflecting poor crop prices, and some in agriculture are talking about being in an ag recession. Byron Parman, an assistant professor and agricultural finance specialist at North Dakota State University, said the numbers and historical perspective tell otherwise. "We not in some kind of ag recession right now This is just normal. This is what net cash income looks like in a normal period," Parman said. "That's a little bit sobering, I understand. A lot sobering," he said.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — With so much attention on tariffs, harvest and the lapsed U.S. farm bill, you may not have heard a lot about corn ethanol recently. But the U.S. ethanol industry is alive and well, and offers promise, a biofuels specialist says. "There are opportunities in ethanol," said David Ripplinger, North Dakota State University Extension bioenergy specialist. Ripplinger spoke Oct. 29 in Grand Forks at Extension's annual ag lenders' conference. Ag bankers from northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota attended.
There are several things that alarm or annoy me about President Donald Trump's trade war. Here are the three most troublesome: First and foremost, I'm concerned for U.S. farmers and consumers worldwide. The Trump tariffs have cut into U.S. ag exports and threaten to hurt consumers worldwide. Yes, as I've heard many times from some Agweek readers, other countries, especially China, are cheating. Yes, as I've heard many Agweek readers say, let's be optimistic that things work out in the end.
They're still behind what they'd like to be, but Upper Midwest farmers overall are making progress in harvesting the last of their crops, a new government report says. Corn, soybeans, sunflowers and sugar beets all saw significant harvest gains in the week ending Nov. 4, according to the weekly crop progress released Nov. 5 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
California voters have approved a statewide measure that would place greater restrictions on the use of cages in livestock production. Proposition 12 passed with the support of 61 percent of state voters, according to the California Secretary of State’s website. The measure received 4.1 million “yes” votes and 2.6 million “no” votes.
Though the new United State-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, will increase U.S. dairy and poultry exports to Canada, the gain may be more than offset by retaliatory tariffs, a new study shows. The projected $450 million gain in dairy and poultry exports will be accompanied by retaliatory measures by Canada and Mexico that could cause U.S. ag exports to decline by $1.8 billion, according to the study released Oct. 31.
G3 Canada Ltd. will build a new grain elevator near Carmangay, Alberta, about 90 miles south of Calgary. The elevator, with a capacity of 42,000 metric tons, is expected to open in 2020. Construction is scheduled to begin this year. The new facility will feature "high-efficiency technology" that will allow it to load 134-car trains "in a matter of hours," G3 Canada said in a written statement. The elevator will be on the east side of Highway 23 and on the CP Rail line.
Tom Peters estimates he received 200 to 300 weed samples for identification this growing season, 10 to 20 times more than normal. That's a good thing, a sure sign that North Dakota agriculturalists are working to control the spread of Palmer amaranth, a particularly dangerous weed. "The response is encouraging. People are taking this seriously," says Peters, a North Dakota State University Extension sugar beet specialist who's spearheading NDSU efforts to fight the weed in the state.