AG Rural News

The 2017 cover crop survey shows farmers are planting more cover crops. The survey, from the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), shows that cover crop acreage has been steadily increasing since 2012. Chad Watts, executive director of CTIC says the survey shows that farmers use cover crops to increase yields in corn, soybeans, and wheat. “About a two bushel increase on any given commodity,” he says. Continue reading Survey: cover crop acres on the rise at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...
A leader with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service says the 4R nutrient stewardship program adopted in the Western Lake Erie Basin is an important component of improving water quality, but more must be done long-term. Kevin King says the 4Rs -right source, right rate, right time, right place -are the “eating right and exercising of farming,” but farmers must take a holistic approach to nutrient management. “There are other things that we need to be thinking about and we have to understand the interaction of those processes before we’re ever really going to solve the problem.” He tells Brownfield water management is often...
Read more...
A southwestern Indiana farmer says a recent dry spell is causing stress on corn and soybeans. Ben Kron says his fields haven’t received a significant amount of rainfall in over a month. “We’re getting a lot of very, very large cracks in the ground,” he says. “I had a field the other day that I stuck a tape measure in and it was almost 22 inches deep and three to four inches wide. Continue reading Dry spell causes stress on crops at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...
A Montana resident helping with wildfire relief says between 7500 and 9000 cattle in eastern Montana have been displaced. There have been no major reports of cattle deaths yet. Garfield County public information officer Anne Miller says many ranchers won’t be able to use grazing pastures right away, but they have some relief options. “U.S. Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke, had announced that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was going to open our Charles M. Continue reading Cattle impacted by wildfires at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...

Ag News

The USDA says the value of certified organic commodities jumped 23% from 2015 to 2016 to $7.554 billion. The number of certified organic farms and total organic acreage also climbed as consumers continued to respond positively to organic branding. The number of farms was 14,217, up 11%, 2,713 of which were in California, followed by Wisconsin at 1,276, and Wisconsin and Michigan were both in the USDA’s top 10 for total sales, at 6th and 8th, respectively. Continue reading Big increase in certified organic sales from 2015 to 2016 at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...
The Senate Ag Committee’s hearing to consider two of the pending USDA nominations is underway. Steve Censky has been nominated to be the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Senate Ag Chairman Pat Roberts says farmers have said crop insurance and trade are two of their biggest concerns. Censky says he’s committed to craft a farm bill that provides an adequate safety net for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.  “My experience in talking to farmers across the country is that crop insurance is really the most important element of their risk management program,” he says.  Continue reading Hearing underway for Censky and McKinney nominations at Brownfield...
Read more...
The U.S. soybean harvest is underway. The USDA says that as of Sunday, 4% of the crop is harvested, compared to the five year average of 5%, with 41% at the leaf dropping stage, also a little bit slower than normal. 59% of U.S. beans are in good to excellent shape, down 1% on the week, typical as a crop heads towards widespread harvest activity. 86% of corn has dented, 34% has reached maturity, and 7% has been harvested, all behind their respective usual paces. Continue reading Early U.S. corn, soybean harvests slower than average at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...
The European Court of Justice has ruled EU member state governments cannot ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops without scientific evidence of risk to human health. The decision reverses the “precautionary principle” which has been the EU’s longstanding default argument to support unverified safety concerns about the importation or cultivation of biotech crops. American Soybean Association president and Illinois farmer Ron Moore says this is good news for US agriculture.  Continue reading ASA considers EU court ruling on member state GMO bans a victory at Brownfield Ag News.
Read more...