AG Rural News

Grain farmer Dean Campbell of Coulterville in southwestern Illinois tells Brownfield instead of competing with neighboring crop and livestock farmers to rent ground, he is fighting a losing battle with emerging solar farms. Rural Illinois isn’t the only area with renewable energy plants popping up- meaning more land for agricultural use may be lost. Listen to the interview: ...
Read more...
A western Nebraska cattle rancher says she’s concerned about reports that President Biden is going to unveil a tax proposal that includes higher capital gains taxes. Nebraska Farm Bureau member Sherry Vinton of Whitman says it would hurt producers and limit long-term economic growth. She tells Brownfield eliminating the step-up basis where land is valued at the current market is harmful. “It’s going to hurt the small and medium producers most and only allow really large players afford to buy land,” she says. ...
Read more...
Two bills introduced by Democrats in Congress would authorize nearly 95-Billion-dollars to bring high-speed internet to rural and other underserved areas. The lead sponsor in the Senate is Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota with Jim Clyburn of South Carolina in the House. Klobuchar says every American should have access to the internet regardless of their zip code. She says the pandemic put a magnifying glass on the disparities of internet connectivity in this country. ...
Read more...
Broadband access remains insufficient for many in rural America. And northern Minnesota cow/calf rancher Miles Kuschel tells Brownfield the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the issue. “If it’s given us an insight into one thing, it’s the absolute need for high-speed broadband across all of Rural America. Whether it’s distance learning, telemedicine, Zoom conferences or annual meetings.” Kuschel is a district director for Minnesota Farm Bureau and says at the state and national level, Farm Bureau has made rural broadband a priority. ...
Read more...

Ag News

Red meat exports for February trended below year ago levels, but the head of the US Meat Export Federation says the 2021 outlook remains strong.  Dan Halstrom says the US can hardly keep up with the rapidly increasing demand for high-quality grain-fed beef in China. “We set another record with 8,600 tons exported the month of February,” he says.  “That’s compared to 500 tons a year ago.  The supply chain continues to expand with China-eligible cattle and we’re seeing it reflected in the meat export numbers.” He tells Brownfield, they’re also seeing strong demand for US beef in Central America...
Read more...
A new kind of farm is competing for land in southwestern Illinois. Grain farmer Dean Campbell of Coulterville tells Brownfield instead of competing with neighboring crop and livestock farmers to rent ground, he is fighting a losing battle with emerging solar farms. “We have a development that happened to pick up 160 acres of our rent property and is nibbling at the door of 200 more.” He says there is a power plant 10 miles west their farm and a new one 5 miles north. ...
Read more...
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall pledged member support of vaccine efforts during the launch of the COIVD-19 Community Corps with Vice President Kamala Harris and requested food and ag workers remain essential during distribution. “It is important to Farm Bureau that our farmers and our employees have priority access to the vaccine given the important role that we play on the frontlines of our food supply,” he says. He says their organization is working to address barriers that exist to get people vaccinated and other concerns. ...
Read more...
The Philippines government will provide more market access to pork imports.  Joe Schuele with the US Meat Export Federation says the Philippines is a major importer of pork, but until now has had the highest import tariffs in the world, which has limited access.  “While we’ve seen an increase in business in the Philippines, it really doesn’t reflect their overall product need,” he says.  “We could ship much more there with lower tariff rates and that’s why we’re very excited about this announcement.” He tells Brownfield the tariff reductions are in effect for the next year.  ...
Read more...