There was a time when an Upper Midwest sunflower producer considered a single field yielding 2,000 pounds per acre to be a bumper crop. But the 2018 Minnesota statewide average yield blew past the ton-per-acre mark, with some individual fields faring even better.
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.
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.
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. Though probably impossible to quantify, it’s clear that both food-shaming and virtue-signaling are on the rise in our country. Consequently, concern over them is growing in mainstream ag.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Democratic members of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture introduced legislation Thursday, Dec. 20, that would halt the Trump administration's plan to relocate and reorganize the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The new, opposing legislation, the Agriculture Research Integrity Act of 2018, addresses widespread concern, especially among scientists and researchers, about the administration’s plan.
I’ll talk about agriculture with anyone. And I’m proud and pleased to have talked with Ray Goldberg, a North Dakota native, Harvard professor emeritus and a co-coiner of the term “agribusiness” in 1957.
Barley and dry edible beans don't get as much attention as wheat and soybeans. But barley and dry beans are important in the Upper Midwest — and both crops appear to have come out just fine under the new U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement, industry officials said. "It appears to be positive for barley," said Collin Waters, bureau chief of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. Dry bean growers also apparently will benefit, said Tim Courneya, executive vice president of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association, based in Frazee, Minn.
CRYSTAL, N.D. — Brian O'Toole ticks off the 10 Southeast Asian and Latin American countries he's visited, some more than once, to promote U.S. wheat exports. O'Toole formerly served as chairman of U.S. Wheat Associates, which develops markets for U.S. wheat around the world, and farms in Crystal. The trips have given O'Toole personal, front-line experience with foreign customers.
Women have been essential to Upper Midwest agriculture since the first homesteaders arrived. They've tended livestock, driven tractors, kept books, cared for their children and much more, traditionally concentrating on their family operation. But women's role in agriculture is broader and more diverse than ever. Reflecting on what's happening in society overall, women increasingly work off their family farm or ranch and serve in positions once held almost exclusively by men.
A new survey reinforces what most people in agriculture already know: Many Americans have serious concerns about GMO foods, with nearly half of U.S. consumers avoiding them, even though many of the concerned consumers know little or nothing about genetically modified food. The survey by the International Food Information Council Foundation finds that 47 percent of consumers "avoid GMO food at least somewhat." Nineteen percent said they avoid GMO food "completely," and 28 percent said they avoid it "somewhat."