Morris Sun Tribune Staff
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Concerns are being raised on a number of fronts as the U.S. House Agriculture Committee begins deliberations on its version of the national Farm Bill on Wednesday. Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, says he's troubled by the bill's lack of funding for rural development. "That's particularly for small-business development and beginning-farmer programs.
WASHINGTON, DC -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Chief Economist Joseph W. Glauber announced today that USDA is reviewing release times for several major statistical reports due to recent changes in market hours by major commodity exchanges. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB)--the USDA entities responsible for the reports--will seek public comment on the release times and procedures of their key statistical reports.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Cover crops are any green crops grown between cash crops. They come in many different varieties, but until recently little information was available to help growers decide which varieties to select and exactly when to plant them. Common uses of cover crops include reduction of soil erosion, weed prevention, nutrient scavenging and alleviation of soil compaction.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Land Stewardship Project and the Foodlums of the University of Minnesota, Morris will be holding a film screening of "The Greenhorns," a documentary about the stories of young farmers, from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight in Imholte Room 109. The Greenhorns is a national non-profit with the mission to recruit, support and promote young farmers in America. They work to bring people together around the agrarian revival taking place in the United States.
MORRIS, Minn. - The Farm Service Agency would like to remind producers about important crop disaster insurance coverage deadlines for the 2012 crop year. The application deadline for 2012 Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for a variety of crops are coming up. The application deadline for all spring seeded crops and perennial forage pasture is March 15, 2012. Sept. 30, 2012 is the closing date for perennial forage and seed crops. Nov. 20, 2012 is the application deadline for perennial fruit and vegetable crops and Dec. 1, 2012 is the closing date for honey.
The Staples campus of Central Lakes College will host the second Ag & Energy Expo from 9:30 a.m. to 3:25 p.m., Friday, Feb. 24, a free event featuring Michael Reese the Renewable Energy Director at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center at Morris. The day-long event that includes breakfast and lunch is co-sponsored by CLC and Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank of Wadena, Staples, and Long Prairie.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse has announced a package of technology enhancements from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) that include Web access for handheld and smartphone users, as well as a more efficient and timely option for receiving news and critical program information.
WASHINGTON DC -- All farm major programs combined -- crop insurance, subsidies and conservation -- will cost only about $221 billion over the next 10 years, comprising only 18 percent of Agriculture Department spending, according to statistics released by the Congressional Budget Office as it released its annual budget estimates. Total spending on food stamps is estimated at $772 billion, while spending on child nutrition programs will be $236 billion. That means about 82 percent of USDA's budget would be spent on nutrition programs while only 18 percent would be spent on farm programs.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The agricultural economy in Minnesota is strong, and some of that strength is coming from the growth of small farms. Increased interest in local foods and products is driving that growth. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines small farms as farms with $250,000 or less in sales of agricultural commodities. The 2007 Census of Agriculture indicates that's 91 percent of U.S. Farms and over half of the land.
Chances are U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack doesn't need convincing that farm issues are important to the nation at large. The crowd that came to see him speak at the Big Iron Farm Show Tuesday probably doesn't, either. The trick, he said, is getting all the non-farmers out there on board. "We represent less than 1 percent of the population, and we've got to convince the other 99 percent of the population that what we do matters to their life," he said.