Michelle Rook / AgweekTV Anchor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The midterm elections resulted in the Democrats regaining control in the House and Republicans picking up additional seats in the Senate. Washington insiders say with the split government, agriculture and the rest of the country need to prepare for even more discourse.
MITCHELL, S.D. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting a record corn crop in South Dakota for 2018, with a 170-bushel per acre yield estimate, and a near record soybean yield of 49 bushels per acre. However, with the variability in the state from areas too wet to those too dry, it is uncertain if the agency hit the mark and some farmers are uncertain about those estimates.
GOODWIN, S.D. — South Dakota's dairy industry is growing rapidly, and the public is getting to see that for themselves during June Dairy Month open houses hosted by Ag United of South Dakota. MoDak Dairy of Goodwin is just one of many dairy farms opening their doors to the public this month. Co-owner Greg Moes says they have been hosting people at the farm for many years and saw a record crowd at this year's event. "Now with livestock everybody wants to see everything that's going on with how we handle animals, how their food is produced," he says.
South Dakota farmers have agreed this year's cold, wet spring has made for a challenging planting season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress reports confirmed that South Dakota farmers are catching up, but are still well behind the five-year averages for planting.
WASHINGTON — The desire among some House Republicans to force a vote on immigration contributed to the defeat of the farm bill on Friday, May 18. The legislation failed by a vote of 213 to 198, and with that, the hopes for immigration reform may also be fading for 2018. Dale Moore, American Farm Bureau Federation executive director of public policy, says being in an election year also compounds the problem.
WASHINGTON—Consumers will soon see new biotech labeling information on food packages at their local grocery store. It's a result of legislation Congress passed in 2016 after multiple states began requiring their own standards for defining genetically engineered foods. More than 1,100 organizations supported the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Act to provide a uniform way to offer meaningful disclosure for consumers. It will also prevent a patchwork of state labeling laws that would have been confusing for consumers and cost them and food companies billions of dollars.
WASHINGTON — While debate continues on the 2018 farm bill in Washington, a majority of farm groups say trade is a bigger issue for them than passage of the new farm legislation. Trade was front and center last week as a team of top U.S. officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, traveled to China to negotiate a deal to delay tariffs between the two countries and avert a trade war. However, negotiators left with very little to show in the way of progress.
LARCHWOOD, Iowa — From dairy production to processing, it's all done local and farm fresh at Stensland Family Farms near Larchwood, Iowa. The family-owned operation was established in 1915, and the idea to become vertically integrated with an on-farm processing plant and retail facility started as a way to add value to their product by selling directly to the consumer. Less than two years later, they process a full line of products, including butter, aged block hard cheeses, cheese curds, various types of fluid milk and around 45 different flavors of ice cream.
WASHINGTON — A bitter fight over reform of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program may derail the 2018 farm bill. The draft legislation of the $100 billion Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on April 18, but on a party line vote versus the bipartisan support the farm bill usually garners. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., the ranking Democratic member of the committee, says the work requirements tied to SNAP eligibility are a non-starter for Democrats.