Jonathan Knutson, Agweek Staff Writer
U.S. agriculturalists already have waited five years for the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Now they'll wait a little longer. They'll also have a few more days to complete several surveys, The widely followed 2017 Census, the only or most comprehensive source of information on many aspects of U.S. agriculture, will be released at 11 p.m. (Central) April 11, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, or NASS, the arm of the U.S. Department of the Agriculture that conducts the once-every-five-year report.
If you know anything about raising crops, you know that insects and weeds constantly evolve and build resistance to existing methods of controlling them Now, new research targets the western corn rootworm — sometimes known as the "Billion Dollar Bug" because of the enormous damage it does — by using one pest's resistance against it. The research involves nematodes that are chemically attracted to feed on western corn rootworm that have built up resistance to Bt corn.
When Ruth Buck visited Washington, D.C., to promote the organic industry four or five years ago, many people there didn't know what she was talking about. "But things have really changed. Now, just about everyone there has positive thoughts about it (organic), and it's grown to a point where people are very in tune to it," said Buck, who operates an organic dairy farm near Goodhue, Minn., with her husband, Dennis, and their six children.
Minnesota organic dairy farmer Ruth Buck and others in the U.S. dairy industry are pleased with proposed federal legislation that would allow allow unflavored and flavored milk to be offered in school cafeterias. So is the Pennsylvania congressman who introduced the bill, H.R. 832, known as the Whole Milk for Healthy Foods Act of 2019, Buck said. "He was pretty excited about it," said Buck, who met with Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., during her recent "fly-in" trip to Washington, D.C., with the Organic Trade Association.
Years ago, I interviewed an area farmer who was serving as national president of his commodity group. During the interview, he mentioned that he regularly reads articles and books promoting positions and viewpoints contrary to those of his organization. "It's hard to argue against the other side if I don't understand their arguments," he said.
It was tempting to hope that recent bitter cold in much of the Upper Midwest would end the growing threat of emerald ash borer. But though the extended cold wave may cut into emerald ash borer numbers, it won't destroy the pest altogether, an expert says. "This (cold weather) will reduce the population, maybe even a lot. But it won't eliminate them," said Joseph Zeleznik, North Dakota State University Extension forester.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The Upper Midwest has suffered through a long, tough winter. But the upcoming 2019 International Crop Expo — regarded by some as the unofficial end of the area's general-farm-show winter season — is a reminder that spring is coming. The annual event returns Feb. 20-21 to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Roughly 4,000 people and 170 exhibitors are expected to attend. It begins at 9 a.m. both days and ends at 5 p.m Feb. 20 and 4 p.m. Feb. 21. Admission and parking are free.
Approving the new farm bill was an important, necessary step for U.S. agriculture. But the legislation still needs to be implemented — a task slowed and complicated by the federal government shutdown several ag leaders say. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will do what's needed to put the farm bill into practice as quickly as possible, said Steve Censky, USDA deputy undersecretary. "Congress has done its work (passing the farm bill). Now it's our turn," Censky said.
GRAND FORK, N.D. — North Dakota is the nation's leader in honey production. The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is a leader in drones and drone research. That led Bee Innovative, an Australian company, to pair up with UND to enhance the company's current drone technology that tracks bee movements and pollination patterns, the two companies announced Jan. 30. "It's a match made in heaven," David Dodds, a UND spokesman, told Agweek.
Let's start with two terms and their definitions that are drawing increased attention in U.S. agricultural circles Food-shaming: Criticizing or ridiculing someone for his or her food choices that don't agree with your own. Virtue-signaling: Publicly expressing opinions or choices, sometimes involving food, that show your good character or moral correctness.