• USDA Accepting Base-Acre Numbers, Farmers Still May Have Questions

    October 01, 2014

    Blame it on the rain. Producers in many parts of the country couldn’t get out into the field on Monday, the first day that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would accept base-acre and yield updates required for crop-loss programs under the 2014 Farm Bill. So, they rushed to the computer to figure out how to complete the process, only to find more questions.

  • UAVs May Be a Year Away from Scouting Fields

    September 30, 2014

    By this time next year, farmers might be scouting fields from the sky looking for signs that the crop is ready to harvest or needs another week. Then again, they might not. The Federal Aviation Administration has set September 2015 as the earliest date that commercial users like farmers or crop consultants might be allowed to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in their business.

  • Farmer Profile: Dairy Producer, Professor, Consultant, Mold Does It All

    September 29, 2014

    The Minnesota State Fair is more than just family fun and fried food to Doris Mold. It’s a chance to show 1.7 million people where their food comes from. During the fair – which typically runs for two weeks at the end of August and into September – a slow day for Mold will be 14 hours. She used to pull the occasional 24-hour shift, but this year, the longest day was just 20 hours.

  • USDA Unveils Key New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk

    September 26, 2014

    On Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled highly anticipated new programs to help farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades.

  • Southern Pecans Squeak By Early Season Wet Weather

    September 25, 2014

    Pecan groves are starting to produce the first nuts of 2014, and the harvest will be in full-swing soon. Pecan growers have planted a lot of new trees over the past five years to feed a growing Asian appetite for the nut. But it’s anybody’s guess how much bigger that appetite will grow.

  • China May Cut Cotton Imports, Implement Price Supports

    September 24, 2014

    China will import the minimum amount of cotton in 2015 as the country draws down on a stockpile it’s been amassing over the past few years. At the same time, the Asian country – the world’s No. 1 consumer of cotton – is poised to implement price supports that might make the country’s textile industry more independent of imports.

  • Fruit and Vegetable Growers Win Some in FSMA Update

    September 23, 2014

    Fruit and vegetable growers seem optimistic that the Food and Drug Administration listened to their cries to tweak proposed food-safety rules that will update the Food Safety Modernization Act. But industry groups still are studying the changes, which were announced Friday, and soon will give producers a better idea whether serious concerns remain unaddressed.

  • Conviction in Peanut Case is a First

    September 22, 2014

    A conviction in the two-month trial of the owners of a defunct South Georgia peanut plant may set a precedent to prosecute food processors who knowingly put the public at risk, food safety advocates say.

  • Grain Bidding Site Could Help Sellers Get Top Dollar

    September 19, 2014

    A new service that makes buying and selling more efficient for grain handlers promises to help co-ops and other commercial grain dealers get top dollar for their goods. Bushel Direct, the first online cash grain trading platform designed for commercial grain handlers, will begin to pair up buyers and sellers as early as this month.

  • Grape Research Expands Options for Southern Vineyards

    September 18, 2014

    Winemakers in the South have longed for the chance to produce the same wines that come from vineyards in California. Soon, they will have a chance. A 4-year-old research project at Auburn University is testing a disease resistant variety of wine grape similar to the type grown in California, and so far the results are good.

  • Americans Eat Less Meat, But Less Will Be More

    September 17, 2014

    Everyone is familiar with the phrase, "What goes up must come down." Grain prices seem to be following this old axiom, with substantial questions remaining about how far down. For meat, we might say the reverse is true; less meat in our diets must eventually become more.

  • Farmer Known for Corn Gets Record Soybean Crop

    September 16, 2014

    Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy just harvested the highest soybean yield in Georgia history. Dowdy regularly lands at the top of the heap for corn yield, but also has a soybean crop worth bragging about this year. Dowdy’s soybeans yielded an astonishing 110.66 bushels per acre, crushing the previous record of approximately 82 bushels per acre, according to retired University of Georgia extension agronomist John Woodruff.

  • Tiny Ag Campus Gives Students a Big School in a Small Town

    September 15, 2014

    In Caitlyn Mahoney ’s classes, it’s impossible to blend into the crowd. There is no crowd – no huge survey classes, no giant lecture halls, no overwhelmed teaching assistant giving the lecture. “I’ve had three classes where there were only two of us and one class that had five,” said Mahoney, who is studying biological sciences at the Tifton campus of the University of Georgia.

  • Olives Growing in Popularity as Disease Plagues Citrus

    September 12, 2014

    When Vicki Hughes gets a call from a Florida farmer interested in olives she knows what he’s facing in his orchards. “I meet a lot of Florida citrus growers and they are all just sick of dealing with greening,” said Hughes, who has served at the director of the Georgia Olive Growers Association for the past two years.

  • AGCO CEO: Commodity Prices Will Rise Again

    September 11, 2014

    The drop in commodity prices this year is difficult, but won’t be anything like the tough times of the 1990s, AGCO Chief Executive Officer Martin Richenhagen told Bloomberg News.

  • Obama Likely Would Veto Bill to Stop Waters of U.S. Rule

    September 10, 2014

    President Obama’s advisors would recommend that he veto a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from expanding jurisdiction over waterways. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, 262-152 on Tuesday.

  • Is USDA Get Better or Worse at Estimating Crop Size? Researchers Ask

    September 09, 2014

    As the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that near perfect weather is making for a boom year in corn, prices have dropped to a four-year low. Now, a group of researchers in corn country are asking: Is the USDA getting better or worse at predicting corn yield?

  • Cotton Researchers Study Drift to Prepare for Xtend, Enlist

    September 08, 2014

    In a lot of ways, technology in the field answers farmers’ questions and alleviates their concerns. But technology also can raise new questions and concerns. When Monsanto releases Roundup Ready 2 Xtend – a glyphosate product with dicamba – and Dow AgroScience launches the Enlist Duo system with glyphosate and 2,4-D, farmers will have two potent new weapons to fight weeds.

  • From the Field: Legal Issues Can Be Risky Business

    September 05, 2014

    Lawyers. The word alone can make a person prickly. While there are plenty of great lawyers who do a fantastic job helping farmers, there are also those who can make running your farm a real pain in the you know what. For those of us making a living in agriculture it is necessary to come to terms with the fact that today’s farmers and ranchers are more susceptible to legal trouble than ever before.

  • Research Connects Temp with Produce Freshness

    September 04, 2014

    A University of Florida-led research team’s development of a tracking system could change the way companies ship fresh fruits and vegetables, letting them know which produce is closest to expiration and providing consumers the freshest products available.