Farmers and ranchers are anxiously awaiting the news that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is on its way to Congress for a vote of ratification and that Congress will get it done quickly.
Several years ago, when Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Tom Friedman was asked to choose which rising Asian nation, China or India, he’d bet the farm on, Friedman didn’t hesitate to pick India.
About 85% of U.S. beef today comes from Beef Quality Assurance-certified farmers or ranchers. But do American consumers know that? Just as important, do they know what BQA is — and what it stands for?
Imagine this: Over the last decade, nearly 3 trillion pounds of corn have been used to produce clean, renewable ethanol for blending into motor fuels. In 2018 alone, the use of ethanol and biodiesel reduced carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to 17 million cars.
Biodiesel is one of the Illinois soybean checkoff program’s greatest success stories. This renewable fuel, made from soybean oil, contributes to cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gas emissions and puts more money in the pockets of growers like you and me.
If China agreed to purchase “$40 to $50 billion” of U.S. farm goods in “the next two years,” as President Donald Trump announced Oct. 11, the futures market — where market reality is quickly sorted from political talk — literally wasn’t buying it.
There were two voicemail messages on my phone last week that I listened to back-to-back. Both were from young men in their mid-30s. Both young men heard the same “Cyndi Young’s 2 cents” commentary on their local radio station.
As Farm Bureau enters a new century, we are excited for the next 100 years of agriculture. We must have an eye to the future, to what we can do better and how we can ensure our farms and ranches are sustainable.
Is soybean yield not quite what you expected for some fields? Are the disappointing fields repeat offenders? Your past yield maps may be trying to tell you something. Soybean cyst nematode could be the culprit, and there’s one sure way to find out if it could be plaguing your acres.
On one of my flights earlier this year, I sat next to a lady who wanted to have a conversation. She asked me what I do, so I told her I’m president of the American Farm Bureau, the nation’s largest general farm organization.
The first obvious sign of the season-long flood is a perfectly level, 3-foot-high ring of dried mud on the machine shed’s siding. Nature put it there and, in time, will likely wash it away.
Many of you recognize that sentence as the opening line for the FFA Creed, written by E.M. Tiffany and adopted at the Third National FFA Convention. When I was a high school FFA Greenhand member learning the creed, it was the future of farming in which we believed, but the revision doesn’t lessen the importance of farming.
The leaves are beginning to fall, the FFA Local Foundation Drive is underway and harvest season has arrived. That can only mean one thing — it’s time for the National FFA Convention and Expo.
In the absence of crop problems in the U.S. or elsewhere on the globe, the ag markets and primarily grain prices will remain under pressure as supplies will be ample to burdensome over the next several years.
We appreciated your recent story “Learning Circle provides information for women landowners” and its discussion on the Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources program.
In every farming operation, it’s a fact that we’ll encounter challenges along the way. That can happen both in our daily activities and in dealing with the business side of our farm.
Not two miles from my central Illinois home, a farmer’s next crop — a dozen rolls of eight-inch, black plastic drainage pipe — wait to be planted several feet deep in this year’s browning corn stubble.
Farming is remarkable work. We begin with the dirt, a seed or a sapling, a calf or baby chick. We nurture from well before sunup till after sundown. We face unpredictable challenges, and we keep looking for ways to do better.
How often do you think or talk about your local watershed? For most, it is probably not a standard topic of conversation. The reality is, we all live, work and play in watersheds, and our actions can impact water quality locally and downstream.
Several weeks ago, I had a conversation with a farmer about turning organic waste materials into value-added products, and we landed upon the topic of anaerobic digestion.
Intermarket Magazine in 1985 interviewed Roy W. Longstreet, age 84 at the time. The interview was reprinted in 2010 by Peter L. Brandt of Factor Research Trading Services.
If government and private estimates are accurate, hundreds of millions of American farm acres will have new owners in the next 15 years. For example, the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Department of Agriculture’s survey takers and recordkeepers, predicts that 100 million acres of today’s farmland will be sold by its current owners by 2023.
Cattle prices dropped like a rock following the Aug. 9 fire at the Tyson plant near Holcomb, Nebraska. The plant processed about 6,000 head of fed cattle per day, which equates to 6% of the total U.S. fed cattle capacity. Many were shocked that closing a single plant could have that much of a negative ripple effect throughout cattle country.
For as long as we can remember, we have made the point that farmers plant all their acres all the time. Recently, someone challenged us on that assertion using our favorite line, “Show me the data.”
Your American Farm Bureau turns 100 next month, a truly special cause for celebration. All year long, we have been celebrating a century of working together for the men and women who grow our food, fiber and energy. This remarkable milestone is a testament to how much stronger we are when we speak with one voice.
Intermarket Magazine in 1985 interviewed Roy W. Longstreet, age 84 at the time. The interview was reprinted in 2010 by Peter Brandt of Factor Research Trading Services.
As part of our work in polishing up the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center/Texas Farmers Union supply management proposal, we have been reexamining the history of farm-related federal legislation over the last century and a half.
September — the time of the year that usually brings the first hints of fall. While the days were still hot, and the majority of harvest delayed, farmers received three pieces of good news.
We learn so much more about each other and our great country when we sit down and have candid conversations. One of the best parts of my job is traveling to farm country and meeting with each of you to hear your stories and then bringing those stories back to Washington to share with our lawmakers and leaders.
The internal memo only confirmed what unofficial Washington had been saying for more than a year and what official Washington had been downplaying for even longer: The White House plan to move two U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies to Kansas City will severely cripple USDA data collection, handcuff policymakers who depend on the data and analysis and gut both agencies for years to come.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is off to its worst start to a new quarter since the final months of 2008. Signs of international and domestic economic weakness have the bulls running for cover while the bears are emboldened about the prospects for much lower prices based on the history of what can unfold for markets of all kinds in October.
In the weeks ahead, as I sit in my combine watching the harvest fill up grain cart after grain cart, I’m sure I’ll wonder at times where my soybeans will find a home and who will use them. Considering this year’s challenges, I’m sure these concerns may be on the minds of other growers, too.
Like many of you, I watched as much of the Ken Burns film documentary “Country Music” as I was able to and look forward to catching the episodes I missed in the very near future. Although I wasn’t around before the 1960s, I grew up listening to most of the music played by the musicians featured in the series.
President Donald Trump recently announced a second round of trade mitigation payments, bringing the two-year total to $28 billion. In response to that announcement, we have been asked: “Could we have spent that money better with a different farm program?”
Some years ago, I wrote a column on how farm groups sternly preached the value of what they reverently called “sound science,” but in fact usually endorsed only “science that sounds good” to the groups.
Farmers are about the long game. Responsible agriculture takes time, from tending crops and caring for livestock to growing trees and vines.
As you lead your farm, one aspect that might not immediately come to mind is what sets your operation apart. Many farms grow a commodity product, but in today’s farming environment, you can’t run your business with the assumption that you’re simply producing the same thing as everyone else.
In the early morning fog the other day, I heard a claw hammer’s tap, tap, bam, bam, bam, boom drive a nail into its place for who knows how many years. A moment later, another six, clear, sharp notes cut through the fog and another nail was set for, maybe, a century or more.
Over the last few weeks, we examined the agricultural and rural policies set forth by the three leading candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.
According to Wikipedia, “herding cats” is an idiom “denoting a futile attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are inherently uncontrollable — as in the difficulty of attempting to command individual cats into a group.”
You know you’re deep in the rabbit hole when bad news — say, a government report that shows steep cuts in anticipated 2019 crop yields — is good news because it will hopefully boost prices.
We received good news in recent days that the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers have officially repealed the Obama administration’s Waters of the U.S. rule under the Clean Water Act.
Farmers are 100% supportive of ensuring clean water, including through appropriate regulation, but the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule had no resemblance to responsible oversight. Instead, it was an overreach of massive proportions.
After the difficult 2019 growing season, farmers are looking ahead to 2020. The extreme conditions farmers endured this year factor into the seed-decision equation for 2020.
Cattle prices for cash and futures are suffering under the effects of the trade war with China similar other U.S. ag markets. Fortunately, cattle prices are not as depressed as Kansas City wheat that recently fell to a new 14-year low.
Illinois soybean farmers have become familiar with the term sustainability as it is applied to our production practices. Now, we are learning the term regenerative agriculture may be better.
As part of his campaign for the Democratic nomination for the coming 2020 presidential campaign — which will, in all likelihood, pit the winner against the incumbent Republican, Donald Trump — Joe Biden has issued “The Biden Plan for Rural America.”