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  • Coming Food Stamp Cutting

    Posted by Rick Shields

     The first Presidential debate hit key themes for agriculture and a farm bill - even as neither was mentioned directly. Food stamps, energy, regulations and deficit reduction were all front and center during the first debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. Perhaps key to the farm bill stalemate is food stamps and deficit reduction. American Farm Bureau Federation Deputy Director Dale Moore says after the election - Congress will have to make some tough decisions on food stamp cuts…

    Coming Food Stamp Cutting

  • Green Stem Soybeans

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Mike Staton with the MSU Extension in Allegan County has some harvest advice for soybean growers.

    Green Stem Soybeans

  • Winter Annual Weeds

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Here's a heads-up on another situation to keep watch for as we head towards winter from Bruce Mackellar.

    Winter Annual Weeds

  • Ripple Effect of No Farm Bill

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says USDA has relied on programs authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill to help farmers and ranchers mitigate the effects of the drought and help communities overcome the economic challenges posed by the drought. He notes parts of that law - including authorization of USDA disaster assistance for livestock producers - expired last year. Other aspects of the law expire today (October 1st) and over the next few months if Congress fails to act

    Ripple Effect of No Farm Bill

  • Drought Could Impact 2013 Production

    Posted by Rick Shields

    The 2012 drought has had a significant effect on U.S. agriculture and global agriculture - according to USDA Economist Paul Westcott. Production estimates have been reduced for this year and prices have increased this summer from the drought. Assuming the weather is cooperative - Westcott says the crop production increase that was expected early in 2012 should happen in 2013…

    Drought Could Impact 2013 Production

  • Crop Insurance Safety Net

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Farm Bill or no, farmers still can depend on crop insurance...

    Crop Insurance Safety Net

  • Death Tax Repeal Unlikely

    Posted by Rick Shields

     Don’t look for estate tax repeal from either a Romney or Obama Administration next year - but one longtime Ag Senator predicts whoever’s elected in November could make a difference in the tax rate.

    Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley has been in the middle of many Senate Estate Tax fights - especially during his years as former Finance Chair or Ranking Member. Today - the longtime ag committee member predicts farmers, ranchers and others face a different tax fate next year - depending on the outcome of the November election

    Death Tax Repeal Unlikely

  • If You Suspect Aflotoxin

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Midwest corn growers need to scout for aflotoxin this season and know what to do if they suspect its presence.

    If You Suspect Aflotoxin

  • Lost Legislative Clout

    Posted by Rick Shields

    Farm groups are pondering what's behind lack of a new farm bill...or even an extension of the old one.

    Lost Legislative Clout

  • Several Obstacles Ahead For Farmers

    Posted by Rick Shields

    A failed farm bill is not the only trouble agriculture faces. Come January 1st - automatic spending cuts and dramatic tax hikes also loom unless a lame duck Congress acts. Life without a farm bill could soon be compounded by life with higher taxes and those spending cuts. American Farm Bureau Federation’s Pat Wolff says unless a lame duck Congress acts to head off so-called sequestration and tax break lapses - January 1st is looking ugly. Some USDA programs would be cut more than eight-percent...

    Several Obstacles Ahead for Farmers

  • For Farm Interests -- Now What?

    Posted by Rick Shields

     Now that Congress has dropped the ball on a farm bill - the question is what’s next for farm programs? USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says even without a farm law of some kind on the books after September 30th - USDA is not ready to revert to the default 1949 statute that is universally seen as unworkable for modern agriculture

    For Farm Interests - Now What?