AG Rural News

A new poll helps show the scope of rural mental health issues tied to the down ag economy. Sponsored by American Farm Bureau, Morning Consult surveyed rural adults, farmers and farm workers to better understand factors affecting their mental health. More than 90 percent of respondents said financial issues are causing problems, and almost 90 percent say they fear losing their farm.  The survey also revealed farmers and farm workers are less likely than rural adults in general to be confident they would recognize warning signs of a mental health condition. Continue reading Farm Bureau conducts rural mental health poll at...
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Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute Plant-based protein company Beyond Meat had a big opening day Thursday on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company, which makes the vegetable-based Beyond Burger, raised 241 million dollars in its initial public offering. Anti-meat activists, like Bruce Friedrich, welcomed the news. Friedrich is the executive director of The Good Food Institute, which works with Beyond Meat and other “alternative meat” startups. He previously held a top position with PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Continue reading Anti-meat activist hails early success of ‘alternative meat’ products at Brownfield Ag News.
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Ag News

The USDA is urging farmers not to make planting decisions based on speculation about what a potential trade mitigation package will contain. Here is the statement issued by the USDA on Tuesday: “Details on the new farming support program will be forthcoming shortly, but we want to be clear that the program is being designed to avoid skewing planting decisions one way or another. Farmers should continue to make their planting and production decisions with the current market signals in mind, rather than some expectation of what a farming support program might or might not look like based on inaccurate...
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The western and central Corn Belt are getting pounded with recurring rain, and severe weather at times, with no let-up in sight. Brownfield meteorologist Greg Soulje says it’s part of the unseasonal El Nino system happening right now, “Some of the spots through eastern and central Kansas, central and eastern Oklahoma and moving into the ArkLaTex and the western sections of Missouri, already some spots better than FIVE inches and probably another two-to-three coming. And that’s just in the short term, over the next 25 to 36 hours.” Soulje says a planting window might open up in parts of the...
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USDA’s meteorologist says this week’s corn planting progress hit the slowest on record stretching more than 30 years and the forecast doesn’t offer much improvement. “More storminess is imminent really across the western half, the western two-thirds of the Corn Belt which is expecting copious rainfall over the next several days.”     Brad Rippey says as of Sunday, 49 percent of corn was planted, 31 percent behind the national average. But it’s way behind for some ‘I’ states he says, “Illinois 65 percentage points behind average, Indiana 59 points behind the five-year average of 73 percent.”    Soybean planting in the U.S. Continue...
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The decision to claim prevented planting is always a tough one. It’s even more difficult this year because of market and policy uncertainties. University of Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey says one question is how USDA will structure the next round of Market Facilitation Program payments. “If that program bases its payment on 2019 production, then you have to consider that when you’re making your planting decisions,” Schnitkey says. “Various individuals within the USDA said that they would be trying to not impact prevented planting decisions, or planting decisions in general. Continue reading Market and policy dynamics could complicate prevented planting...
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