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Showing posts from June, 2016

June 17 | USDA NASS Weekly Crop Progress Report

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Statistical Methodology
via USDA NASS

Weekly Crop Progress Report Survey Procedures: Crop progress and condition estimates are based on survey data collected each week from early April through the end of November. The non-probability crop progress and condition surveys include input from approximately 4,000 respondents whose occupations provide them opportunities to make visual observations and frequently bring them in contact with farmers in their counties. Based on standard definitions, these respondents subjectively estimate the progress of crops through various stages of development, as well as the progress of producer activities. They also provide subjective evaluations of crop conditions.

Most respondents complete their questionnaires on Friday or early Monday morning and submit them to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Field Offices in their States by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, or through a secured internet website. A small number of reports are completed …

Agronomy Day on the South Farms August 18, 2016

URBANA, Ill. – Have questions about pest resistance or curious about the use of drones in agriculture? Plan to hear more on these and other topics related to crop sciences at the 59th annual Agronomy Day at the University of Illinois on August 18.

Field tour topics and speakers for Agronomy Day 2016 were recently announced. Topics include:

TOUR A
Cataloging the weapons arsenal of the Fusarium head blight pathogen
Genetic resistance for northern leaf blight and Goss’ wilt in corn
Stripe rust and scab resistance in wheat
Bt resistance in corn rootworm beetles Nematodes: How does the worm turn?

TOUR B
Nitrogen management: Balancing profitability with sustainability
Economics of nutrient management
Land values
Six weed management predictions to keep you up at night
Investigating low crop emergence in edamame

TOUR C
The show must go on: Balancing water use under continuously changing environmental conditions
Cover crops for soybean and corn rotation
Soybean planting date and variety matur…

National GMO Labeling Bill in Motion

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The U.S. Senate’s agricultural committee has reached a food labeling bill agreement that could set aside the state of Vermont’s GMO law. Ranking members Pat Roberts of Kansas, a Republican, and Debbie Stabenaw, a Michigan Democrat, announced a digital codes compromise. If the full Senate and the House pass the legislation food packages containing a narrowly defined set of genetically engineered ingredients would include a digital disclosure code or an on package symbol or language that the Agriculture Department would approve. The code, which could be scanned by a smartphone, would be accompanied by the sentence, “Scan here for more food information”.

The compromise narrowly defines genetically modified for the purposes of food labels. Only ingredients derived from GMO’s made by transferring genes from one organism to another would require labeling. Foods made with ingredients where the genetic code is edited - a deleted or duplicated gene for example - would not require the GMO notif…

COMMENTARY: Robert's Rules of Order

What risks are there to organizing a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives?
The House has parliamentary rules. Have these been violated? http://www.house.gov/content/learn/http://clerk.house.gov/legislative/house-rules.pdf"The makeup of the Rules Committee has traditionally been weighted in favor of the majority party, and has been in its current configuration of 9 majority and 4 minority members since the late 1970s.” - from the House.gov website Will the Ethics Committee be called to action?
see Code of Conduct items 1 and 2 - http://ethics.house.gov/publication/code-official-conduct Honestly, what happened on the floor of the House in my opinion is deplorable. It breaks down the rules of debate that are set up for just reasons to allow the majority (whichever party or however it is comprised) to rule. The rules allow debate to be orderly, and for the minority opinion to be heard. It does not require a vote on that opinion. This works for all parties/individuals an…

Soybean Stocks, Acreage, and Weather

The price of soybeans has rallied so much this season that one agricultural economist is doubtful there is much additional upside potential.New crop soybeans are worth about two-and-half dollars more today than back in February when farmers purchased insurance to cover the price risk inherent in farming. The rise has to do with a short crop from South America, above average temperatures in the United States, and only scattered rainfall in the mid-section of the nation. Farmers can now sell beans for about $11 a bushel for fall delivery, and that doesn’t seem too bad to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good.Quote Summary - While there is a potential for prices to move even higher with stressful summer weather, that potential may be less than the potential for corn, depending on the magnitude of planted acres, since soybean prices have already experienced a sharp rally and soybean yields are less sensitive to summer weather than are corn yields. The path soybeans hav…

Fungicide Applications Improve Corn Silage Feed Efficiency

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June is National Dairy MonthSpraying a fungicide on corn in the Midwest has always been a 50/50 proposition related to cost. Half of the time it bumps yield by a couple of bushels and this can sometimes be enough to cover the cost. However, if that corn is going into silage, some new work from the University of Illinois says the improvement in feed efficiency for dairy cattle can pay for the fungicide not just once, but maybe twice.

Purdue University & CME Group Ag Barometer

Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and the derivatives marketplace CME Group are partnering to produce the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer, a monthly nationwide measure of the health of the U.S. agricultural economy.The introduction of this new economic indicator underscores the importance of the agricultural economy and its participants - food producers and agribusinesses - to the overall U.S. and global economies, Purdue and CME Group said Tuesday (May 3) in announcing the partnership.“Agriculture is a critical component of the global economy and has been the cornerstone of CME Group’s business for nearly 170 years,” said CME Group Executive Chairman and President Terry Duffy. “By providing financial tools to help producers and agribusiness participants manage the risks they face, they are better able to focus on what they do best - feeding the world. We believe this collaboration with Purdue University to create the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer wil…