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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Asia stocks edge up after Japan policy boost; debt shines - Yahoo Finance

Asia stocks edge up after Japan policy boost; debt shines - Yahoo Finance: Asian stocks started a new month on a cautious note on Monday, with the Bank of Japan's surprise policy easing sparking some buying but further signs of economic weakness in China and a fall in oil prices keeping investors on guard.

Debt and higher prices push more farmers into selling land - Farmers Weekly

Debt and higher prices push more farmers into selling land - Farmers Weekly: Farmers made up 50% of farmland sellers last year – the highest proportion in seven years – as low commodity prices increased debt and early retirements.�

According to data from Savills, farmers also made up the smallest proportion of buyers since 2003 – at 43% of all transactions.

Evidence suggested that some farmers, especially those without successors, were taking the opportunity of current record values to exit the industry.

NW farmers say this year's yield hangs in the balance | eNCA

NW farmers say this year's yield hangs in the balance | eNCA: The recent long-awaited rainfall has provided some relief for farmers in drought-stricken parts of the country.

But despite several rainy days in the North West Province this month, agriculture continues to suffer.

Some 75-percent of farmland in the region has been planted.

But the size and quality of the harvest remains to be seen.

The persistent drought�in the North West continues to take its toll on farming communities.

Farmland market softens, but values remain historically high - Herald-Whig -

Farmland market softens, but values remain historically high - Herald-Whig -: A softer agricultural land market will continue in 2016, with values for high-quality land holding steadier, while lower-quality land values decline.
Despite lower land values scattered across many regions, land values in general will remain historically high when compared to long-term trends, according to Farmers National Company.
Company statistics indicate positive long-term economic trends, with current land values encouraging new buyers to enter the market or existing investors to expand portfolios.

Maya Angelou’s Harlem Home for Sale - The New York Times

Maya Angelou’s Harlem Home for Sale - The New York Times

Agriculture is the answer to Nigeria’s economic troubles – Oyedepo | INFORMATION NIGERIA

Agriculture is the answer to Nigeria’s economic troubles – Oyedepo | INFORMATION NIGERIA: The Chancellor, Landmark University, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, Bishop David Oyedepo, has lamented the poor state of Nigeria’s economy. He tasked the Federal Government to explore the unlimited opportunities in agriculture to resolve the problem.

Speaking at the sixth matriculation ceremony of Landmark University, Oyedepo said this became necessary because food insecurity is a major global concern as over one billion people are suffering from starvation and malnutrition.

Banking more on agriculture lending

Banking more on agriculture lending: Now, banks can extend�more finance to emerging activities such as food and agro-processing units, agriculture infrastructure such as storage, as well as those for soil conservation and watershed development, ancillary activities, agro-clinics and agribusiness centres forming part of farm lending. The expanded scope for lending will now open up new vistas of lending to agro-based export oriented units as well

Smart agriculture with smart technology | The Daily Star

Smart agriculture with smart technology | The Daily Star: The effect of urbanisation is two-fold. On one hand, it boosts development indicators such as economic growth, productivity and human development indexes and on the other hand, the intensifying of the tertiary industry results in more people shifting from the agriculture sector. This might result into a big threat for an agri-dependent country like Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, where agriculture is still a major source of income for 14 million farming households, lack of access to information, along with various other factors demand immediate attention. One cannot stress enough on the need for information regarding agriculture which is vital for farmers to make informed decisions.

Farming UK | News | Farm defenders lock down to halt farmland destruction in the East Bay | USA

Farming UK | News | Farm defenders lock down to halt farmland destruction in the East Bay | USA: Last week, contractors with the UC administration began construction work on the southern portion of the Gill Tract, a historical farm sold to the University of California in 1928 under the condition it would be used for agricultural research and education. Contractors using a bulldozer, a backhoe, and an excavator began removing the valuable topsoil this week - until a group of farm defenders locked down onto the machinery to stop construction.

Lawmakers At Odds Over Farmland Buffer Zones | KNSI News in St. Cloud, Minnesota

Lawmakers At Odds Over Farmland Buffer Zones | KNSI News in St. Cloud, Minnesota: Gov. Mark Dayton is telling environmental officials to back off private ditches as they start enforcing a new law to boost water quality.

Passing stronger requirements for so-called buffers between crops and waterways was a major flashpoint at the Capitol last year.

Concern about implementing those setbacks along private ditches kept the controversy alive.

ISU researchers find portions of Iowa farmland losing money | Ames Tribune

ISU researchers find portions of Iowa farmland losing money | Ames Tribune: By Julie Erickson
Staff Writer
jerickson@amestrib.com
While some patches of farmland across the state may have been losing money over the years, higher grain prices may have helped farmers recover from the loss.

But as grain prices have dropped in recent years, agronomists at Iowa State University say farmers could be looking for new ways to use land once saved for corn and soybeans.

“We found that profitability from corn and soybean fields in Iowa has dropped dramatically between 2011 and 2015,” said Elke Brandes, a postdoctoral research associate in agronomy and lead author of the study. “These low-yielding areas have increased in the past decade, mainly due to the corn ethanol boom, when farmers planted more of their marginal land in row crop. The high grain prices compensated for these low yields in the past, but with the prices staying low, high profits are no longer achieved.”

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Growing Economies: Connecting Local Farmers and Large-Scale Food Buyers to Create Jobs and Revitalize America's Heartland (2016) | Union of Concerned Scientists

Growing Economies: Connecting Local Farmers and Large-Scale Food Buyers to Create Jobs and Revitalize America's Heartland (2016) | Union of Concerned Scientists: Heartland (2016)


Policies that foster the growth of midsize farms can bring a cornucopia of benefits: healthier economies, healthier food, a healthier environment.
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Full report
Midsize family farms—historically the backbone of rural economies in the United States—have been disappearing for almost two decades, replaced by large, industrialized farms.�When they disappear, many jobs evaporate with them. Once-vibrant rural communities are at continued risk as the loss of jobs and business opportunities represented by midsize farms continues.

CropMobster headlines chronicle life on Sonoma County farms | The Press Democrat

CropMobster headlines chronicle life on Sonoma County farms | The Press Democrat: The headlines at CropMobster.com offer a back fence view into the weird world of Sonoma County farms, where on an given day earnest farmers put out appeals for brewers mash and organic food waste, alerts for worm workshops and try to unload everything from surplus figs to emus.

Take 6 Steps to Grow... | Corn | Agriculture

Take 6 Steps to Grow... | Corn | Agriculture: Gary Nelson of Fort Dodge, Iowa,started farming with his wife Karma just out of high school in the early 1970s. Over time, he’s learned many lessons, but one that sticks out occurred early in his career as a Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) borrower.�
“The FmHA made me do a budget,” he says. “It even got down to the point where I had to record a $9 tool in order to make machinery repairs.”
This stringent record keeping, however, helped instill the financial discipline to endure tough times and to build a foundation for when son Dave returned to the farm in 2007 after stints with Monsanto and Ziegler Caterpillar.
“Dad went through some tough times, and learned a lot,” says Dave. “That has helped guide me into my farming career.”
Since Dave returned, the Nelsons have grown the farm size fivefold in acreage. Today, though, farming economics are the tightest they’ve been in their nine years together. The Nelsons are persevering by spending money on key inputs and technologies that return more money at harvest.

China eyes supply-side reform to boost agriculture - Business - Chinadaily.com.cn

China eyes supply-side reform to boost agriculture - Business - Chinadaily.com.cn: For thirteen years in a row, China's "Number One Central Document" has focused on agriculture and rural issues. This year it identified supply-side reform as a way to boost agricultural modernization.

The document is the first major policy document released every year. Agriculture is a significant issue in the world's most populous nation, featuring problems including low farmer income, pollution and ineffective supply of farm produce.

"To a certain extent, supply of agricultural products, specifically, failed to meet the changing demand, while off-loading of capacity needs to be applied to some other products," said Chen Xiwen, director of the central agricultural work leading team office on Thursday.

Montana company offers online agriculture courses | Agweek

Montana company offers online agriculture courses | Agweek: LeRoy Nelson is accustomed to stares and head-scratching from people "who just don't get right away what we're doing." But experience also has taught him "they usually get it after I explain it to them."

Robots Are Taking Over Agriculture

Robots Are Taking Over Agriculture: The Fourth Industrial Revolution will soon allow a single factory to produce more than 30,000 heads of lettuce every day, using 98 percent less water, 30 percent less energy, and 50 percent fewer humans.

The Japanese grower Spread will open its Vegetable Factory next year using robots instead of humans not only to plant the seeds but to water them, monitor them, adjust their feeding if necessary, and then trim the mature plants prior to being packaged by other robots for shipping.

Using “vertical” farming, the factory will also take up much less space (about half the size of a Walmart), and will virtually eliminate runoff from pesticides and herbicides because they won’t be necessary. J.J. Price, a company spokesman, said that all this “means that we will … make it affordable for everyone … and grow staple crops and plant protein” with vastly fewer humans involved. It also will almost completely eliminate biological “invaders” like Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria while growing lettuce year round.

Coaching-Include Key Stakeholders for Best Results | Agweb.com

Coaching-Include Key Stakeholders for Best Results | Agweb.com: But, farms aren't usually operated by just one person or even just a couple. There are others involved whether as owners or employees. Call these key people stakeholders. According to CEO coach and Huff Post blogger, Thomas Gelmi, successful outcomes from coaching occur when collaboration, not secrecy is part of the plan. "Stakeholders can provide important and insightful suggestions for behavioral change that would help leaders to become more effective on the job. Moreover, these stakeholders' perception changes at the same time, as they begin to pay more attention to the desired change. This form of executive coaching creates real value through implementing change that is sustained, recognized and acknowledged by stakeholders in the workplace."�

Strong Dollar Can’t Keep Markets Down | Agweb.com

Strong Dollar Can’t Keep Markets Down | Agweb.com: As January draws to a close, Jerry Gulke sees cause for a small celebration. “For 2016, we’re still above last year’s lows in December and that’s good news,” said Gulke, president of the Gulke Group in Chicago. “We keep that going and we got a chance.”

Land Sale of the Week: $3,000 to $3,800/acre in Central Kansas - News | Agweb.com

Land Sale of the Week: $3,000 to $3,800/acre in Central Kansas - News | Agweb.com: A mid-December auction north of Wichita, Kan., saw 471.5 acres bring $3,000 to $3,800 an acre. The auction, which occurred Dec. 16, featured four tracts of dryland cropland located northeast of Sedgwick in Harvey County.

Tracts 1 and 2 were adjoining quarter sections offering 318 acres of cropland. Those tracts sold together for $3,800 an acre. Tract 3, which offered 73 cropland acres, sold for $3,200 an acre. Tract 4, with 78 cropland acres, brought $3,000 an acre.

Friday, January 29, 2016

30 Acres For Sale, Highway 17 & County Road 243, Carrollton, Mississippi 38917

Total of 30 acres which is in 2 separate tracts - a 20 acre tract which corners on Highway 17 and has access through County Road 243 and a second tract of 10 acres which is East of the 20 acre tract. Located 9 miles south of U.S. Highway 82. Easy travel distance to Greenwood through U.S. Highway 82 or through Mt. Olive Road and Highway 430. The tract is all in timber and has several good house sites. This is a good tract for hunting, timber production, and for construction of a primary or weekend residence. Robert W Neill Jr, Real Estate Broker, 662-237-6969 (Landline) 601-519-0075 (Text or Talk) (662) 229-8230 (Text or Talk)


Estimated location of corner on Highway 17

Aerial Map of 20 acres and 10 acres

County Tax Assessor Plat Map of 2 tracts

Entrance to County Road 243 off Highway 17 which leads to the West Boundary of the 20 acre tract.


To access the interior of the property, County Road 243 comes to a fork a short distance going East from Highway 17. There is a residence on the right just before the fork and a residence on the left with a reddish brown roof directly at the fork. Take the left fork of the road and the boundary line of the 20 acres starts a short distance just past the residence and continues until just before the trailer at the end of the road. The boundary lines have not recently surveyed and these are the estimated boundary lines. 

Peoples Company, AgSolver Partnership Takes Farmland Estimates Digital with Launch of WhatsMyFarmWorth.com | Benzinga

Peoples Company, AgSolver Partnership Takes Farmland Estimates Digital with Launch of WhatsMyFarmWorth.com | Benzinga: Farmland values in Iowa and other states can now be easily estimated at WhatsMyFarmWorth.com, a map-based valuation tool powered by Peoples Company and AgSolver. The mobile-friendly website draws on public data while utilizing the latest innovations in digital technology to provide farmers and landowners with a baseline estimate for land values or rental income.

Purdue Extension - Changes in Farmland Property Tax Assessment

Purdue Extension - Changes in Farmland Property Tax Assessment: How should Indiana assess farmland for property taxes? Good question. There’s the way we used to do it, the way we do it now and, if new legislation passes, the way we’ll do it in the future.

We used to assess farmland based on a capitalization formula. Imagine an investor taking money out of a bank to buy some farmland. Suppose the investor earns 5 percent interest at the bank, and the land can earn $100 a year from growing crops. The investor bids $1,000 for the acre. If that’s the winning bid, the investor earns 10 percent on that $1,000. That’s better than the bank rate. Suppose the bidding continues to $2,000. At that price the land yields a 5 percent return, the same as at the bank. But if the bidding continues above $2,000, that $100 income from the land represents a return less than the bank’s 5 percent. A rational investor would stop bidding at $2,000.

Missouri lawmakers block higher taxes on some farmland - Washington Times

Missouri lawmakers block higher taxes on some farmland - Washington Times: Missouri lawmakers on Thursday blocked a plan that would have raised taxes on the state’s most valuable farmland.

Property taxes on Missouri farms are based on their productive value - the amount of money they’re expected to generate from agriculture - instead of market value. The best land is deemed Grade 1, and the worst is Grade 8. The Missouri Tax Commission voted in December to raise productivity values by 5 percent on land in the top four grades for the 2017 and 2018 tax years.

Dairy farms squeezed even harder as income halves due to milk price war - Telegraph

Dairy farms squeezed even harder as income halves due to milk price war - Telegraph: Britain’s troubled dairy farmers are facing another year of crisis, as official statistics project the income of dairy farms will have almost halved in this tax year to an average of �46,500.
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The drop in revenue was mainly the result of plummeting wholesale milk prices, and came despite one-off support payments from the EU totalling �26.2m, or around �2,000 per farmer.

Sustainable agriculture gains momentum in the Puyallup Valley | PCC Natural Markets

Sustainable agriculture gains momentum in the Puyallup Valley | PCC Natural Markets: Between 1997 and 2007, Pierce County lost nearly 23 percent of its farmland, much of it in the fertile Puyallup Valley. At this time, one quarter of the county's farmland was slated for development. With the announcement of these startling numbers, PCC Farmland Trust began working with partners in an effort to curb the conversion of some of the state's best farmland. About 2,000 acres were identified as top priority for conservation.

Between 2010 and 2015, the Farmland Trust invested $4.9 million to conserve 397 acres — 20 percent of the acreage identified in the long-term goal. Seven family farms on that land produce an array of products, including eggs, honey, herbs, vegetables, pork, poultry, beef, animal feed, berries and hay. They represent the shift back toward sustainable and diversified land management and continued celebration of local agriculture in the region. Across Pierce County, the total market value of agricultural products is $91 million — making farming a critical economic driver.

Eye on Agriculture: Planning for a Down Year - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Agriculture: Planning for a Down Year - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND: The annual Ag Expo at the North Dakota State Fair Center is a chance for farmers and ranchers to make plans for the upcoming season.
This year, much of the conversation has to do with the recently-projected low crop prices -- and what farmers can do to avoid taking too big of a hit.
Tim Olson reports in this week's Eye on Agriculture.

(Jeff Moen, Farms Near Foxholm) "We've had tough sledding before. Like I told my guy at the bank, 'I'm used to it, not that I like it.'"

"Tough sledding" for farmers used to growing crops like wheat and corn.
Projections from the NDSU Extension Service are predicting negative returns on typically-dependable crops in the region.
So farmer like Jeff Moen are using this week's Ag Expo as an opportunity to plan ahead.

(Moen) "Any way you can increase revenue and decrease expenses, but decreasing expenses is pretty hard to do."�

China Green Agriculture, Inc. Launched Two New Fertilizer Products and Retained Nine... -- XI'AN, China, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

China Green Agriculture, Inc. Launched Two New Fertilizer Products and Retained Nine... -- XI'AN, China, Jan. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --: China Green Agriculture, Inc. (NYSE: CGA)("CGA" or the "Company") which produces and distributes humic acid-based compound fertilizers, other varieties of compound fertilizers and agricultural products through its operating subsidiaries in�China, i.e.: Shaanxi TechTeam Jinong Humic Acid Product Co., Ltd. ("Jinong") and Beijing Gufeng Chemical Products Co., Ltd. ("Gufeng"), today announced that it launched two new fertilizer products and retained nine new distributors in its second fiscal quarter ended�December 31, 2015.

Farmers, vendors meet to talk improvement in agriculture industry | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WPBN

Farmers, vendors meet to talk improvement in agriculture industry | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WPBN: Hundreds of farmers and agro-business vendors attended the Great Lakes Crop Summit in Mount Pleasant at the Soaring Eagle Casino's Conference Center.

Farm Credit Corporation giving out some advice to those renting farmland | 620 CKRM

Farm Credit Corporation giving out some advice to those renting farmland | 620 CKRM: Regina-based Farm Credit Canada is providing some advice to farmers renting farmland this year.
FCC chief agricultural economist J.P. Gervais says some commodity prices are lower this year and farmers need to be aware of revenue projections on their farm.
Gervais says balancing the need to secure land for the long-term and ensuring the financial health of the farm is a difficult exercise.

4 Steps to price cash rent for farmland - Farm Futures

4 Steps to price cash rent for farmland - Farm Futures: There are two main strategies farmers use to grow their operation. One is buying farmland; the other is renting it.

I’ve noticed that numerous farmers who sign up for Cash Cow are concerned with their cash rents. They don’t want to lose their operation because the cash rent’s too high and they’re losing money. That is, they don’t want the ship they’ve chosen to ride to sink in the middle of the sea.

If you can relate to that feeling, take it easy. These four steps will help you manage your cash rent and set you up to improve profitability.

Drop in nut prices may weigh on farmland boom - The Bakersfield Californian

Drop in nut prices may weigh on farmland boom - The Bakersfield Californian: Concern is rising that the recent decline in commodity prices may threaten Kern County’s farmland boom, a decade-old�phenomenon that has attracted investors and bolstered growers’ assets even as it has raised the costs of farmers who rent.

Two Central Valley market observers say a variety of factors weighing against nut prices lately, including higher interest rates, international trade headwinds and a larger than usual 2015 almond crop,�have begun�to affect agricultural real estate values.

Bakersfield farmland broker Michael Ming said in his 2016 market forecast, released this week, that ag real estate buyers “have begun to pull back” and are now valuing properties based on expectations commodity prices will remain lower�“for the foreseeable future.”

Contest Gives New Digital Tools to Farmers - Crops - News | Agweb.com

Contest Gives New Digital Tools to Farmers - Crops - News | Agweb.com: In reality, there’s not actually an app for everything. Plenty of gaps and opportunities still exist. These realized needs fueled some of the inspiration behind the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge, which encouraged contestants to use USDA’s open data to create mobile apps and online tools for the agriculture industry.

Ready for a Crisis? | Agweb.com

Ready for a Crisis? | Agweb.com: In May 2010, the animal-rights group Mercy for Animals released a video taken by one of its undercover operatives at the Ohio farm of dairy-cattle broker Gary Conklin. The edited footage showed one of Conklin’s then-employees physically abusing cows and calves.�

A publicity firestorm erupted. Conklin received nearly 1,000 media calls in the 24 hours after the video’s release. His family and business received threats of violence. Law enforcement officials were called in.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Weather Expert Predicts $6 Corn | Agweb.com

Weather Expert Predicts $6 Corn | Agweb.com: Would you believe a $6 to $7 corn price prediction? Bill Kirk, a weather statistician and owner of Weather Trends 360, asserts that�corn prices could hit the�$6.50 to $7�range this summer. According to his weather outlook, 2016 will mean lower yields both in the U.S. and in Brazil, reversing the current supply and demand debacle.

7 Excuses to Drop in 2016 | Agweb.com

7 Excuses to Drop in 2016 | Agweb.com: The new year is well underway, meaning it’s a perfect time to make sure you’re prepared for the challenges and opportunities headed your way. For producers, people development and leadership training often come in second behind the daily stresses of your operation, whether preparing for planting, managing cattle or milking cows. There are risks to this mindset, though. Don’t let these excuses hold you back.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are mixed in a narrow trading range. The US Dollar is lower and crude oil is stronger while stock indices are higher.

Drew Lerner says “…the most interesting weather in the world in 2016 will likely be right in our own backyard due to the discussion on El Nino transitioning to La Nina.”

The last day of the 2016 Ag Leaders Conference starts at 1:30 today. We will be discussing the soybean and hog outlooks this afternoon. There is still time to get the information as it is released (Click here). If you missed Drew Lerner’s weather outlook yesterday contact your Allendale Representative for details.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

As Family Farms Wane, Most Farm Issues Absent in Iowa's Presidential Race | Civil Eats

As Family Farms Wane, Most Farm Issues Absent in Iowa's Presidential Race | Civil Eats: Over the last few months, most of the presidential candidates have found their way to Bill Couser’s farm in Nevada, Iowa, where he raises more than 5,000 head of cattle, and grows corn and soybeans. Couser says he’s played host to all the Republicans vying for the Oval Office this cycle in the conference room he built at his feedlot specifically for the parade of presidential candidates.

Expert: Delta farms able to outlast slump face a bright future | NWADG

Expert: Delta farms able to outlast slump face a bright future | NWADG: East Arkansas farmers who survive the yearslong downturn in the agricultural economy will be stronger than before, the head of one of the state's largest agricultural lenders said Tuesday.

"If you own land in the Delta, don't ever sell it," said Greg Cole, president and chief executive officer of AgHeritage Farm Credit Services.

Cole, speaking at the annual meeting of the state Soybean Association, said east Arkansas would be "the most strategically positioned location on the planet" to take advantage of rising demand for food as the world population grows. The region's large-scale farms, ability to grow a variety of crops and easy access to Mississippi River shipping are invaluable assets, Cole said.

"We can get [agricultural commodities] to where the customers are, and the customers are going to be in the developing countries," Cole said in an interview.

Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward, speaking earlier to the Soybean Association, said the state exports about 30 percent of its agricultural production and ranks 13th in the nation in total exports. It is the top exporter of rice.

We’re Growing Twice as Much Food (with Far Fewer Farms) Than We Used To

We’re Growing Twice as Much Food (with Far Fewer Farms) Than We Used To: How do you grow more food? One answer that makes sense is with bigger farms and more farmers. But if you look at the last half century-or-so worth of data, that’s not at all what’s been happening.

Precision Agriculture Pioneer, Farmers Edge, Closes $58M Investment Led by Mitsui and Kleiner Perkins | ANP Pers Support | De kortste weg naar publiciteit

Precision Agriculture Pioneer, Farmers Edge, Closes $58M Investment Led by Mitsui and Kleiner Perkins | ANP Pers Support | De kortste weg naar publiciteit: Farmers Edge(TM), a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, announced today it has received a $58 million CAD raise led by existing investors, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers' Green Growth Fund and Osmington Inc. The investment will go towards the expansion of the data science team, new product development and global growth into South America, Australia and Eastern Europe. Kenji Otake, General Manager, First Business Dept., IT Platform Div. of Mitsui & Co., Ltd. will join the Farmers Edge Board of Directors.

New thinking, supply-side reform stressed in agriculture modernization - Xinhua | English.news.cn

New thinking, supply-side reform stressed in agriculture modernization - Xinhua | English.news.cn: China will apply its new concept of development to agricultural modernization to make the process more efficient, inclusive and environment-friendly, according to a policy document released on Wednesday.

The document by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, vowed "marked progress" in agriculture by 2020 to ensure society becomes moderately prosperous.

Upholding an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development concept, the authorities called for faster transformation of agricultural models.

The importance of innovation was also underscored and supply-side structural reform in the agriculture sector was emphasized.

Russia's Agriculture Minister proposes wheat export tax removal or cut

Russia's Agriculture Minister proposes wheat export tax removal or cut: Russia's Agriculture Minister has proposed the government to discuss a state wheat export duty removal or cut, First Deputy Minister Evgenii Gromyko told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday.

Russia currently has a floating tax on wheat exports. The formula is set at 50 percent of the customs price minus 6,500 roubles ($82) per tonne but not less than 10 roubles per tonne.

India's mustard output seen rising for the first time in 3 years - The Economic Times

India's mustard output seen rising for the first time in 3 years - The Economic Times: India's mustard output is expected to grow for the first time in three years this season, government estimates show, as falling temperatures, light rains and the absence of crop-damaging frost raise farmers' hopes after two years of drought.

Has "Organic" Been Stripped of its Meaning? | Equities Canada

Has "Organic" Been Stripped of its Meaning? | Equities Canada: The term ‘organic’ has come to be understood by most consumers as ‘grown without synthetic chemicals’, which to most people’s surprise, does not always mean that farming practices are sustainable. The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform defines sustainable agriculture as “the efficient production of safe, high quality agricultural products, in a way that protects and improves the natural environment, the social and economic conditions of farmers, their employees and local communities, and safeguards the health and welfare of all farmed species.”

Yet some organic farmers are participating in farming practices that, while still compliant with organic regulations, are not reflective of the sustainable farming practices and values on which organic agriculture was originally premised. Environmental damage, inefficient nutrient utilisation, heavy reliance on input substitution for pest and weed management, high energy use, limited cropping rotations and collapse of farmer co-operatives have been reported on organic farms spanning countries across the globe, including the Netherlands, Egypt, China and Brazil.

Business Matters: Take Control of Working Capital | Agweb.com

Business Matters: Take Control of Working Capital | Agweb.com: When financial times are good, businesses have the tendency to operate on economic autopilot. This is simply a human characteristic. When things seem to be working well and there are no visible problems, we get comfortable.�

Ag businesses are no different. An economic storm is ahead with turbulence and various other obstacles that will need to be addressed. Low commodity prices, combined with expenses that have been slow to decline, are driving many operations into the red. Now is the time to take over the controls of your business to fly around the worst part of the storm.�

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

As crop prices fall, MN farmers may roll more land into conservation | Minnesota Public Radio News

As crop prices fall, MN farmers may roll more land into conservation | Minnesota Public Radio News: Groves of trees and acres of prairie plants break up the nearly continuous fields of corn and soybeans at the Walt Kellen farm in southwest Minnesota. They're part of the land he has in the Conservation Reserve Program.

Kellen has about 130 of his nearly 1,000 acres in CRP, the longtime federal farmland conversation program. He says most of it's marginal for growing crops anyway and he likes that the CRP acres have noticeably increased the wildlife on his farm. He's also planted some 30,000 trees.

Cold decimates crops, fish farms - The China Post

Cold decimates crops, fish farms - The China Post: Ma has placed vital importance on the recent crop damages in a national security meeting, attended by Premier-designate Simon Chang, National Security Council Secretary-General Kao Hua-chu and other high-ranking Executive Yuan officials, stated Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen

Effect of rain on farms 'remarkable' | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News

Effect of rain on farms 'remarkable' | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News: For farmers the big dry was "shaping up to be quite a mongrel'' but what a transformation in 10 days.

Persistent rainfall throughout most of Otago in the past fortnight has meant grass and crops have come away, providing hope for farmers struggling with drought.

There was good news in the forecast, too, with rain and showers expected up until the weekend.

Dunback farmer Ken Fergusson said the rain had "turned things around'' but stressed farmers were far from being back to normal.

The End Of The U.S. Farm Boom, And What It Means For Agriculture Stocks | Seeking Alpha

The End Of The U.S. Farm Boom, And What It Means For Agriculture Stocks | Seeking Alpha: American farmers have been spoiled over the past decade. Having what seemed like relentless demand from China for soybeans, and ethanol plants for corn, the U.S. farmer experienced a simultaneous increase in crop prices and land values to record levels.

Mennonite families looking to move to P.E.I. - Local - The Guardian

Mennonite families looking to move to P.E.I. - Local - The Guardian: The relocation of Mennonites from southern Ontario to P.E.I. may also bring a big benefit to the province’s beef industry, says realtor Allan Weeks.

Weeks, the owner of Allan Weeks Real Estate Co., said there’s a number of Mennonite families looking at purchasing farms in P.E.I., largely focusing on Queens County and part of southern Kings County.

Agrimoney.com | Corn Belt farmland returns negative for a second successive quarter

Agrimoney.com | Corn Belt farmland returns negative for a second successive quarter: The decline in crops prices has seen farms in the key Corn Belt area offer negative returns for a second successive quarter, and in the most important period of the year,�far underperforming the gains enjoyed by investors in orchards and groves.

Farmers Begin Digging Out From East Coast Snowstorm | Agweb.com

Farmers Begin Digging Out From East Coast Snowstorm | Agweb.com: At Al-Mara Farm in Midland, Va., the Leonards began preparing early for Jonas’ arrival. With forecasters predicting the nor’easter could drop two feet and more of snow on the Mid-Atlantic, Jeff and Patty Leonard shored up barns, plowed in preparation for Sunday’s milk truck, and provided their animals with extra rations, just in case.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are lower but remain in a narrow trading range. Outside markets are quiet with the US Dollar and crude oil a bit higher.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Outlook: Lock Up Fuel and Knock Down Debt | Agweb.com

Outlook: Lock Up Fuel and Knock Down Debt | Agweb.com: Many start the year with big resolutions and dreams of better times ahead. This year I have to admit the equities and commodities have started off with about as bearish of an attitude as I’ve seen in the market at this time of year. Essentially, the public is starting to panic. The funds have pushed open interest to record net short levels for many of the grains and oilseeds contracts. The sky is falling at�exactly the time bears want to take profits and bulls start slowly accumulating for a trend reversal.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are mostly steady as weather in South America remains on track for a record harvest. Crude oil is sharply lower on Iraq’s announcement of record-high oil production

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Even in Off Season, New York Farms Still Busy With Work

Even in Off Season, New York Farms Still Busy With Work: They're growing in the spring, picking berries in the summer, and harvesting apples in the fall, but what about the winter?

"People always ask, 'what do farmers do during the winter?' I get asked all the time,” said Karin Reeves, a manager at Reeves Farm in Baldwinsville.

"A lot of people assume we're either on vacation or just not here. you have to remember that this is still a modern, working farm...so there's still plenty to do,” said Michael Blair, the production manager at Abbott Farms, also in Balswinsville.

Some farms have markets they keep open year round, while all have paperwork, new construction projects, and machines to maintain.

Fruit distributor Del Monte ‘eyeing more farms in Middle East’ - ArabianBusiness.com

Fruit distributor Del Monte ‘eyeing more farms in Middle East’ - ArabianBusiness.com: US food giant Del Monte Foods is planning to buy farms in Jordan and Saudi Arabia as part of an expansion across the Middle East.
The company, which produces and distributes food across the world and is known for its packaged fresh fruit, has farms in Turkey and the UAE and its regional headquarters is in Dubai.
However, it intends to expand its operations in the Middle East and is seeking to acquire new farms elsewhere in the region with a focus on Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

UK farmland prices head back to earth - FT.com

UK farmland prices head back to earth - FT.com: After a long and spectacular run, during which it has outperformed gold and Mayfair houses, the price of farmland is starting to head back to earth.
The cost of prime arable land fell last year for the first time in 13 years, according to Savills, the estate agent, because of falling commodity prices and growing uncertainty about what will happen to farming subsidies should Britain leave the EU.

Adding diversity to farms | Business | www.journalgazette.net

Adding diversity to farms | Business | www.journalgazette.net: A century ago, area farmers raised the pigs and chickens that put bacon and eggs on their families’ breakfast plates.�They also grew the wheat and churned the cream that became their buttered toast.

But agricultural operations typically have grown larger and more specialized, said Greg Slipher, Indiana Farm Bureau livestock development specialist.

Slipher is on a mission to remind farmers of the benefits of raising both crops and animals. To do so, he has teamed with�Ben Wicker, Indiana Pork’s director of producer outreach.

What is going to happen to your farmland after you are gone? | The Kansas City Star

What is going to happen to your farmland after you are gone? | The Kansas City Star: After 35 years of experience selling farmland, Rick Barnes of Barnes Realty noticed a common problem: When both parents are gone, the kids promptly start fighting about the family farm and everything else.

It is the last thing any parent would want to happen. Lawyers make a lot of money, and the family is broken forever.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Apocalypse Paused: "Ghost Farms" of the Soviet Union | National Geographic (blogs)

Apocalypse Paused: "Ghost Farms" of the Soviet Union | National Geographic (blogs): Picture�two giant farms: one the size of France; the other the size of Wisconsin. That is how many acres of agricultural land sit fallow in Russia (45 million) and Kazakhstan (35 million).

Farm sales rise in spite of farming ups and downs | Stuff.co.nz

Farm sales rise in spite of farming ups and downs | Stuff.co.nz: Rural real estate agents are crediting more farm sales to ongoing confidence in farming despite dairy and lamb markets coming under pressure.

Farmers sold 61 more farms over the three months ending December than the 486 farm sales for the same period last year. Nine regions recorded increases in sales with Northland and Hawkes Bay leading the way with more than 25 sales, followed by Otago and Auckland.

However, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand statistics show overall median prices were down 2.3 per cent in the last quarter at $28,120 for each hectare of all farms sold compared with $28,781 in the previous period.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Big data pros, cons, Connectivity will affect farmland value | The Dickinson Press

Big data pros, cons, Connectivity will affect farmland value | The Dickinson Press: If a farmer's equipment collects and shares data, should he be concerned that he could get in trouble if the government uses the data to find he was over-applying fertilizer or using the wrong chemical?

Farmland market 'polarised' | The Scottish Farmer

Farmland market 'polarised' | The Scottish Farmer: While at pains to stress that it does not expect a dramatic fall in prices, the firm advised sellers against being too 'ambitious' when marketing farm properties, particularly marginal arable and livestock units.

This caution comes on the back of a successful 2015 for the firm, which saw it shift in excess of �60.5million worth of agricultural property throughout the year, totalling some 16,980 acres, a 30% increase in acreage sold compared to 2014, and a rise of 13.5% in sales value.

Agrimoney.com | US farmland, ag machinery market declines extend into 2016

Agrimoney.com | US farmland, ag machinery market declines extend into 2016: The decline in US farmland prices has extended into another year, and at an accelerating rate, while the pulse of the agricultural equipment market has weakened to the faintest on record.

An index of farmland prices in major US agricultural states compiled by Creighton University came in for January at 23.9, well below the level of 50.0 which indicates a neutral market,

The drop – the 26th successive month of decline – was also below the figure of 23.9 recorded for December.

Rethinking the future of agriculture | World Economic Forum

Rethinking the future of agriculture | World Economic Forum: This week leaders are converging at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos to exchange ideas, shape global agendas, and take steps to solving the world’s most challenging and imminent problems. As part of Deloitte’s work with the Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture team, we’ve been focusing on challenges within the world’s food and agriculture systems - and in particular how leaders across sectors can work together to make our global food systems more inclusive, sustainable, efficient, and nutritious.

A look at the beauty in Colorado’s $40B agriculture industry

A look at the beauty in Colorado’s $40B agriculture industry: The winning pictures in the 18th annual “Colorado ... it’s Agricultural” photography contest showcase the state’s diverse agriculture industry.

The contest is run by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The sector encompasses 170,000 jobs in Colorado and contributes $40 billion to the state’s economy, according to the department.

Can't ignore the trends in agriculture - Farm and Dairy

Can't ignore the trends in agriculture - Farm and Dairy: I must’ve read at least 10 “top trends for 2016” articles at the beginning of the year. Most of them were related to food or farming, but there was an interesting twist proffered by one of the grand dames of futuring, Faith Popcorn. Popcorn talked about “fear,” her word for 2016.

Agriculture Seeks Silicon Valley's Help To Satisfy The World's Demand For Food | ThinkProgress

Agriculture Seeks Silicon Valley's Help To Satisfy The World's Demand For Food | ThinkProgress: Though it’s just an hour south of California’s Silicon Valley, the Salinas Valley — better known for churning out lettuce and tomatoes than the world’s newest tech devices — might as well be a world away. In Silicon Valley, companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Google reign supreme. In Salinas, the biggest names are those of fruit and vegetable producers — Dole Foods, Chiquita, Driscoll Berries, Taylor Farms.
But the distance between the two places could soon seem a little smaller, thanks in part to a new effort on the part of the agriculture industry to attract technology companies to the Salinas Valley. Last month, the Western Growers Association — a trade association representing local and regional produce growers from California, Arizona, and Colorado — opened the Center for Innovation and Technology in Salinas, CA. The space — which has room for 34 startups to work, take classes, and meet with farmers — hopes to serve as a midway point between the innovative ideas of tech companies and the technical know-how of industry experts.

Microloans expanded for farmland purchases and upgrades - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Microloans expanded for farmland purchases and upgrades - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB: Farmers will be able to literally cash in on an�opportunity provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Announced January 19, the USDA will start offering farm ownership microloans to help farmers finance and improve property.�

The USDA hopes the microloans will target new and undeserved farmers as well as U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming. Seventy percent of loans have gone to new farmers in the past.

“Many producers, especially new and undeserved farmers, tell us that access to land is one of the biggest challenges they face in establishing and growing their own farming operation,” the Agricultural Deputy Secretary said. “USDA is making it easier for new farmers to hit the ground running and get access to the land that they need to establish their farms or improve their property.”

In its third year, the program has provided over 16,800 low-interest loans, worth around $373 million, to producers across the country.�

Will 2016 Bring a Record Growing Season? (VIDEO) | Agweb.com

Will 2016 Bring a Record Growing Season? (VIDEO) | Agweb.com: The markets hinge on weather. Depending on rain, drought, temperatures, sunshine and more,�farmers could grow another record crop in 2016�or yields could be dismal. Which will it be?�

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are higher as traders close out the week with short covering and a risk-on attitude. Stock indices and crude oil are higher around the world as news spreads of more easing by European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan. Stocks in China close higher for the week.

Weekly export sales report will be released at 7:30 am this morning due to the holiday last Monday. Trade estimates are: wheat 200,000 to 400,000 tonnes, corn 600,000 to 900,000 tonnes, soybeans 700,000 to 1,000,000 tonnes, soymeal 50,000 to 200,000 tonnes and soyoil 9,000 to 60,000 tonnes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Farm prices drop 2%, but prices better for larger farms | BreakingNews.ie

Farm prices drop 2%, but prices better for larger farms | BreakingNews.ie: The average price of farmland decreased last year.
A report on the cost of agricultural land shows that nationally, the average price per acre fell to €10,336 in 2015.
That figure is a drop of almost 2% when compared with the previous year.
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Managing director of Ganly Walters Robert Ganly, who is one of the authors of the report, said the survey also showed a rise in the price of big farms.
"The larger farms are making more per acre," he said. "There's a particular desire for farmers to buy large farms and consolidate, and there's a scarcity of large farms in the market so they're coming at a premium."

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are narrowly unchanged in a quiet overnight session. The world stock indices are lower following the sell-off in China. Crude is lower ahead of US inventories report this morning.

Join us at the conference next week and get the 2016 Allendale price projections. You also will also receive the first look at Drew Lerner‘s growing season forecast for 2016. Call 800-262-7538 now.

China continues to crackdown on the DDGs entering the country. This provides an advantage to soymeal. CNGOIC raised their estimate of Chinese soybean imports to 85 MMT’s which is higher than the 80.5 MMT’s the USDA has penciled into the global balance sheet.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Flooding, Cold Snap Worry Winter Wheat Producers (VIDEO) | Agweb.com

Flooding, Cold Snap Worry Winter Wheat Producers (VIDEO) | Agweb.com: The heavy precipitation in late December and early January that caused flooding along the lower Mississippi and the Ohio River valleys, Texas and Oklahoma is�causing some to wonder about the winter wheat crop.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are lower as they give back some of yesterday’s gains. China’s stocks were lower causing selling pressure on stocks and commodities around the world. The US Dollar is steady however crude oil is testing lows not seen since 2003.

Weather in South America may not be ideal in every location but rain is falling and sets them up for a “Rain makes grain” production year. Many Brazilian analysts are ratcheting their production numbers down but still looking for a record year. Traders will continue to focus on SA production for several more weeks. Signup for the AgLeaders conference today!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

USDA Expands Microloans to Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property | USDA Newsroom

USDA Expands Microloans to Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property | USDA Newsroom: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. These microloans will be especially helpful to beginning or underserved farmers, U.S. veterans looking for a career in farming, and those who have small and mid-sized farming operations.

"Many producers, especially new and underserved farmers, tell us that access to land is one of the biggest challenges they face in establishing and growing their own farming operation," said Harden. "USDA is making it easier for new farmers to hit the ground running and get access to the land that they need to establish their farms or improve their property."

Loudoun farm family is growing in new directions - The Washington Post

Loudoun farm family is growing in new directions - The Washington Post: The Virts family has been engaged in traditional farming (think heavy equipment, rigid growing seasons and cornfields stretching for acres) since it settled in Loudoun County in the late 18th century. Twelve generations later, things are beginning to change.

Donald Virts, who farms 1,000 acres in northern and western Loudoun, decided that he had to adapt his methods to evolving economic and environmental conditions. His new business model, which he is introducing at CEA Farms north of Purcellville, embraces concepts such as hydroponics (growing crops in water), controlled environment farming, renewable energy sources and marketing directly to consumers.

Early Agriculture Has Kept Earth Warm for Millennia - Eos

Early Agriculture Has Kept Earth Warm for Millennia - Eos: Modern human activity is known to drive climate change, but global temperatures were already affected by farmers millennia before the Industrial Revolution. For years, scientists have been debating about the size of preindustrial warming effects caused by human activities. Now, according to Ruddiman et al., new evidence confirms that early agricultural greenhouse gas emissions had a large warming effect that slowed a natural cooling trend.

Fewer potatoes, more 'superfoods' could be perfect recipe for Israeli agriculture - Business & Innovation - Jerusalem Post

Fewer potatoes, more 'superfoods' could be perfect recipe for Israeli agriculture - Business & Innovation - Jerusalem Post: The report, titled Strategy Building for Exporting Fresh Produce from Israel, showed that while revenue from exporting standard items like potatoes and tomatoes have taken a hit in recent years, Israel could carve out its niche in the world market by exporting more “superfoods” such as pomegranates, dates and avocados and tapping developed markets in Asia where specialty foods are in demand.

Are We Seeing the Start of an Acreage Shift? (VIDEO) | Agweb.com

Are We Seeing the Start of an Acreage Shift? (VIDEO) | Agweb.com: The news that this year’s winter wheat seedings would be just 36.61 million acres caught the market off guard last week, which had predicted a smaller drop in acreage for the crop.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are higher on short covering supported by higher outside markets. The US Dollar and crude oil are higher this morning.

Weather in South America continues to be supportive to crop performance. However, the trade will be looking for any sign of stress in Brazil or Argentina as a reason to cover short positions. A higher US Dollar could cause more farmer grain movement in South America.

The CFTC Commitment of Traders report on Friday showed managed money funds increased their net short positions in corn by nearly 25,000 contracts. They are now net short 186,831 contracts. The managed money funds were net buyers of about 25,000 contracts in soybeans and wheat which reduced their net short positions.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Thousands of farms up for sale | Land & Agriculture | BDlive

Thousands of farms up for sale | Land & Agriculture | BDlive: HOUSANDS of farms have been put up for sale in water-stressed provinces, but it is unclear whether the country’s worst drought in 20 years is behind this.

A cursory search through Private Property, one of SA’s largest online property listing platforms, shows large numbers of farms for sale. Some are being auctioned, while others have been repossessed by banks.

As of last Thursday, Private Property had 5,000 listings for farms in Gauteng; 3,485 in the Western Cape; 2,207 in the North West; and 1,955 in Limpopo.

Last year, parts of the North West and Limpopo were declared disaster areas because of a drought described as the worst in 20 years. KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and the Free State have also been declared drought disaster areas.

Farmland values drop as uncertainty over EU membership bites - Farmers Weekly

Farmland values drop as uncertainty over EU membership bites - Farmers Weekly: The average value of bare agricultural land in England fell 1.7% in the last quarter of 2015, compared with the previous quarter, from �8,306/acre to �8,165/acre, according to Knight Frank’s Farmland Index.

North Dakota farmers becoming choosier with land purchases - News - KFGO The Mighty 790AM - Fargo Moorhead, ND

North Dakota farmers becoming choosier with land purchases - News - KFGO The Mighty 790AM - Fargo Moorhead, ND: Real estate officials say farmers are becoming pickier when it comes to buying land in North Dakota.

An area sales manager for Farmers National Company in Garretson, South Dakota, says that more farmers are only buying high-quality, high-producing land.

Alan Butts with Pifer's Auction and Realty says high-quality farmland remains in demand and the land market is still relatively strong in North Dakota. But he says lesser-quality farmland can be more difficult to sell and sales prices for pastureland have greatly reduced.

Infographic of Germany's hyperinflation - Business Insider

Infographic of Germany's hyperinflation - Business Insider

Farm boom fizzles as U.S. crop surplus expands financial strain - Claremore Daily Progress: Don't Miss This

Farm boom fizzles as U.S. crop surplus expands financial strain - Claremore Daily Progress: Don't Miss This: The American farm boom is all but over.
Farmland values are down from all-time highs. Global surpluses left corn and soybean prices below the cost of production. And the amount of agricultural debt relative to income ballooned to the highest in three decades, just as the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.
While many growers remain profitable, the global commodity slump is increasing pressure on a Midwest economy that was largely shielded from the worst of the financial crisis by high crop prices and land values. Last year, farm income was the lowest since 2002. This year's agriculture-trade surplus in the U.S. -- the world's top exporter -- will be the smallest in a decade. At the same time, sales are dropping for the likes of tractor-maker Deere & Co. and seed supplier Monsanto Co.

Rollover money was strong influence in 2015 South West farmland market - Farmers Weekly

Rollover money was strong influence in 2015 South West farmland market - Farmers Weekly: Agents selling farmland across south-west England say�2016 will be a challenging year with�uncertainty around EU membership making buyers more cautious, although they expect demand and prices to hold firm. The past 12 months have seen a large range of land values, caused in part by location, but also influenced by buyers with rollover funds and investors,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Norwalk Reflector: Local farms have century-old heritage

Norwalk Reflector: Local farms have century-old heritage: In 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture recognized 114 new century or bicentennial farms owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years. There are now more than 1,200 farms registered across the state in the Ohio’s Historic Family Farms program.

Grenada Is Developing Climate-Smart Agriculture

Grenada Is Developing Climate-Smart Agriculture: As the Caribbean deals with the impact of climate change, adaptation is a major priority.

That’s why one island is launching a new project to make its agriculture more robust against the ramifications of climate change.

Grenada has partnered with the Germany Agency for International Cooperation to establish “self-sufficient communities” through permaculture, or the use of modern science for sustainability.

“We’re setting up a model where we will be teaching permaculture, so people will come in and learn the skills and go back into their communities and share those skills,” said John Stollmeyer Director of Caribbean Permaculture Consultants. “The first rule in permaculture is to find a yield, that means a product to take to market, and what we stress is to find simple processes, very low tech processes that can create a high value product,”

“Land sparing” farming could offset agricultural carbon emissions | Ars Technica

“Land sparing” farming could offset agricultural carbon emissions | Ars Technica: Agriculture is not responsible for the bulk of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions; that honor goes to more fossil-fuel intensive activities like transportation and generating electricity. Even still,�greenhouse gas emissions from global agriculture are climbing by 1 percent a year.

Humans did once upon a time live without HDTVs and Hummers—we could do so again, at least in theory—but�people will always have to eat. This makes reducing agricultural emissions particularly difficult. Researchers in the UK have reported that an approach called "land sparing" farming could offset the emissions coming from agriculture by sequestering carbon.

Iowa farmers brace for tough 2016

Iowa farmers brace for tough 2016: Many Iowa farmers are not expecting the agricultural economy to improve anytime soon, with a majority of those surveyed at the recent American Farm Bureau Federation conference preparing for a drop in income this year and many taking steps to�conserve cash....

Farmers should use low-cost agriculture technology to get more crop yield: Agri Minister - The Siasat Daily

Farmers should use low-cost agriculture technology to get more crop yield: Agri Minister - The Siasat Daily: Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh on Friday said today’s farmers cannot be self reliant only by using old farm techniques, because agriculture inputs are costly that is why it is necessary that our farmers should use low-cost agriculture technology to get more crop yield and increase their income.

Agriculture Ministry distributes material to banana, plantain farmers - News - JamaicaObserver.com

Agriculture Ministry distributes material to banana, plantain farmers - News - JamaicaObserver.com: Banana and plantain farmers in St Mary and Portland, who have been affected by the recent drought, have received donations of planting material from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to resuscitate their farms and boost production.

Portfolio Minister Derrick Kellier handed over thousands of suckers and corms (bulbo-tubers) during a ceremony held at the Orange River Agricultural Research Station in Highgate, St Mary, on Thursday.

Several bags of fertiliser were also distributed to the farmers.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

U.S. farms rely on foreign workers - AgriNews

U.S. farms rely on foreign workers - AgriNews: Immigrant farm workers are important to help complete work on many farms in the U.S.
Researchers at Texas A&M University completed a survey of dairy farmers to examine the importance of immigrants in the dairy industry.

“We did this work for the National Milk Producers Federation because of their members’ interest in the importance of immigrants and the political debate on immigration,” said David Anderson, professor and extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M.

10 Growing Pains Your Farm May Be Facing | Agweb.com

10 Growing Pains Your Farm May Be Facing | Agweb.com: Just like middle schoolers who complain of muscle aches and soreness, farm businesses can also face growing pains during significant growth periods.

Does the Market Have a Psychology Problem? | Agweb.com

Does the Market Have a Psychology Problem? | Agweb.com: Whereas corn finished up 6 cents on Friday, soybean prices couldn’t hold onto the gains they made after USDA’s Tuesday reports. “You have to look over your shoulder because all you hear about is that big crop in South America,” Gulke says. “…We’ve got this psychological thing hanging over our heads out of South America that we‘ve got to get rid of this supply, and they’re trying sell them as quick as they can. China is buying beans from them and us, which is good news.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

Agriculture in Louisiana like a roller coaster

Agriculture in Louisiana like a roller coaster: Farmers are eternally optimistic, riding the highs and lows of a profession peppered with stress, hard work and uncertainty.

Local�farmers say 2015 wasn't a good�year, and 2016 is shaping up to be similar, but they have hope this roller coaster job will climb back up.

Dustin Morris�is a fourth-generation farmer who, along with his wife, Ashley, has received numerous young farmer awards. The couple farm�about 2,300 acres of soybeans and corn near Rayville.

Dow futures drop 300 points as oil spirals lower

Dow futures drop 300 points as oil spirals lower: U.S. stock index futures indicated a lower open on Friday after the Chinese stock market and crude prices plunged.

The Shanghai composite fell 3.51 percent and entered bear market territory, while Brent and WTI futures both held below $30 a barrel, down 4.3 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell nearly 2 percent.

Which Crop Price Could Gain the Most from La Nina? | Agweb.com

Which Crop Price Could Gain the Most from La Nina? | Agweb.com: As the current El Nino weather pattern goes into the history books as one of the strongest in memory, grain analysts and growers alike are wondering what will follow.

One likely possibility: La Nina, which involves cooler than normal water temperatures in the Pacific compared to the warmer than normal oceans of El Nino. As a result, the weather patterns of La Nina and El Nino tend to be very different, with El Nino bringing wetter weather to the U.S. and La Nina resulting in the opposite with hotter, drier conditions.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are lower lead by weak crude oil prices. The March crude oil has dropped below $30.00 per barrel overnight. The Chinese stock market sets lows not seen since December of 2014 causing selling in stocks around the world. Grain specific news is limited and carrying a negative bias.

Corn export sales are running 25% less than last year. USDA is expecting a 9% decline for the whole year. Soybean sales are catching up with USDA’s goal of an 8% decline which is now only 11% behind. Wheat is 15% behind last year and The USDA is expecting a 6% drop.

Markets are closed on Monday for the MLK Holiday. Grains will open Monday night with no markets on Sunday night.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Farmland auction draws crowd - Carroll County Mirror-Democrat : News

Farmland auction draws crowd - Carroll County Mirror-Democrat : News: An auction Saturday morning, Jan. 9, for prime farmland just west of Mount Carroll drew a large crowd of onlookers and bidders at Naaman Diehl Auditorium.
The auction was for approximately 103 acres of tillable land at the southeast corner of Illinois 64 and Oil Valley School Road, known as the Charles and Eleanore Knauer farm.
The land is owned by Janice Cramer of Fulton, daughter of the Knauers who are deceased, and Cramer’s daughter, Betsy Claussen, also of Fulton.

Ongoing tumult in farm economy had mixed impact on 2015 Nebraska farmland values

Ongoing tumult in farm economy had mixed impact on 2015 Nebraska farmland values: The dour agriculture economy has affected Nebraska land prices in different ways, depending on its region, quality and use, according to recent reports.

Three years of bountiful harvest combined with stagnant consumption, growing competition around the globe and a strong dollar has taken a toll on the U.S. farm economy, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City said in a recent report.

While overall Nebraska cropland values have softened, values vary greatly from east to west, JD Maxson, area sales manager for Farmers National Company in North Platte, said in a recent news release.

Iowa farmland values stabilizing | The Gazette

Iowa farmland values stabilizing | The Gazette: A softer agricultural land market is expected to continue this year, along with depressed commodity prices, according to Farmers National, an Omaha, Neb., farm and ranch real estate company with an office in Iowa City.

Values for high quality farmland appear to have stabilized, while lower quality land values continue to decline. Iowa saw an 8 percent decrease in the value of high quality land in 2015, according to Sam Kain, national sales manager for West Des Moines-based Farmers National.

Can more intensive agriculture cut emissions? | MNN - Mother Nature Network

Can more intensive agriculture cut emissions? | MNN - Mother Nature Network: Recently, a group of researchers, writers and activists calling themselves "ecomodernists" caused a stir by claiming we need to decouple from nature, not go back to it. The central thrust of their argument was that instead of seeking low-impact, low-tech paths to sustainable living "on the land," they proposed we embrace technology, move to the city and generally use innovation and modernization to reduce our footprint and allow nature to regenerate on its own.

Energy, agriculture seen as weak areas, says Fed

Energy, agriculture seen as weak areas, says Fed: The U.S. Federal Reserve System is out with its latest "Beige Book" economic survey for Colorado and nearby states, charting winners and losers in the regional economy over the last several weeks.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are drifting lower as commodities slip across the board. Outside market traders remain nervous as stock indices falter and are testing key chart support. Crude oil is up slightly on short covering.

Weather conditions in Brazil and Argentina are positive to crop development over the next 2 weeks. Some forecaster are now expecting at least 100 million bushel of soybeans out of Brazil and they are raising corn production potential. Get Drew Lerner’s long-range forecast for the US growing season on January 27. It is a LIVE ONLY broadcast and as always will be worth your time spent. Sign up today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Have the Markets Hit a Low?

Have The Markets Hit... | Corn | Agriculture: The USDA’s report came out yesterday at 11 a.m., the final report showing a cut in corn yields of 0.9 bu/acre to 168.4 bu/acre, and soybean yields cut 0.3 bu/acre to 48 bu/acre (still a record-shattering crop). The market reacted with a likely bottom placed in prices. (Finally!) But prices may not go up much, either, during the coming winter months as we still have a very large carryout (1.8 billion bu corn, 440 mb soybeans, and 941 mb wheat).�
The USDA gave us the final Jan. report for 2015 crops, surprisingly lowering the corn yield –0.9 bu/acre to 168.4 bu/acre, with production down 53 mb from November. They also cut soybean production 51 mb by cutting yields 0.3 bu/acre to 48 bu/acre, and cutting harvested acreage by 600,000 acres, which is very unusual this late in the game. (They just figured that out now??) Overall, it was a slightly friendly report, but then again the ending stocks of corn actually went up 17 mb as they cut demand, and soybean ending stocks were only cut 25 mb to 440 mb (still a very large number and burdensome to say the least). Prices bounced yesterday nicely, but really all it means is that the prices have probably finally bottomed.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are slightly lower�following yesterday's buying after the slew of USDA report data. Crude oil firms after trading below $30/barrel in yesterday's action.

The USDA had something for everyone is its four reports out yesterday.�For Quarterly Grain Stocks, USDA reported 11.212 billion bushels of old crop corn as of December 1, 2015 (11.237 estimate), 2.715 billion bushels of soybeans (2.720 estimate), and 1.738 billion bushels of wheat (1.698 estimate) were also reported.

For US production, corn was revised lower by 52 million bushels, while soybeans were reduced by 51 million bushels. Acreage and yield adjustments were made in both cases.

US Ending Stocks had corn at 1.802 billion bushels (1.785 estimate), soybeans at 0.440 billion bushels (.468 estimate), and wheat at 0.941 (0.919 estimate).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Crop Surplus Is Bad News for America’s Farms - Bloomberg Business

The Crop Surplus Is Bad News for America’s Farms - Bloomberg Business: The American farm boom is all but over.
Farmland values are down from all-time highs. Global surpluses left corn and soybean prices below the cost of production. And the amount of agricultural debt relative to income ballooned to the highest in three decades, just as the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates for the first time since 2006.

Churchill: Veteran's lost farm part of national shame - Times Union

Churchill: Veteran's lost farm part of national shame - Times Union: This is the day Dave Lamouret has long dreaded. NBT Bank will auction off farmland that his family has owned for generations.
The financial troubles that ensnared Lamouret and led to the foreclosure of his land are not simple. But the essential and outrageous truth is this: If he hadn't served with the Army National Guard in Afghanistan, he wouldn't be losing his land.

Farmland prices holding up despite falling crop prices, Fed says

Farmland prices holding up despite falling crop prices, Fed says: A plunge in farmland values resembling the 1980s decline “remains unlikely,” with a shortage of acreage for sale helping to support prices, a Federal Reserve economist said Monday.

Nathan Kauffman, Omaha Branch executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said despite the drop in prices for corn, soybeans and wheat,�land values�haven’t fallen as much because of low interest rates, limited supply�and generally�favorable balance sheets for many producers.

“There is just not a lot of land being sold. A lot of people are, I think, waiting to see how this plays out, waiting to see if and when things start to change,” Kauffman told farmers and ranchers at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting.”‘Farmland prices have been pretty slow to adjust.”

Family dozes rough farmland into success | Local | ottawaherald.com

Family dozes rough farmland into success | Local | ottawaherald.com: When Ken and Susan Taylor bought farmland in Franklin County about four years ago, it was in bad shape. Thanks to the work they’ve done to it, the Taylors were awarded the Kansas Bankers Award for soil conservation in Franklin County.

“We bought (the Franklin County) farm about four years ago,” Ken Taylor said. “It needed a lot of work. We had the equipment to do it. We applied for cost-share and they didn’t have any that year, but I needed to get started. We went and built two waterways then just so it could get started. We moved rocks, took out some trees, cleaned up some fences, built I don’t know how many 1,000 feet of terraces.

What will the 2016 real estate market bring? - Luxury Daily - Commerce

What will the 2016 real estate market bring? - Luxury Daily - Commerce: While New York real estate boomed in 2015, the United States saw prices start to flatline in the second half of the year, possibly providing a preview for 2016.

While the demand for New York real estate will remain high for the foreseeable future, there are mixed signs as to what might happen with the country’s high-end market as a whole. Domestic and international economic factors will play a role in prices, while a growing millennial market could begin to impact what amenities are offered.

Unwanted Piles of Corn, Soy Spur Most-Bearish Crop Outlook Ever | Agweb.com

Unwanted Piles of Corn, Soy Spur Most-Bearish Crop Outlook Ever | Agweb.com: Piles of unwanted grain on farms near Doug Schmitz’s storage bins in southern Minnesota are a stark reminder of just how bearish the outlook is for�U.S.crop prices.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are consolidating ahead of government reports. Crude oil slides below the close of Tuesday while stock indices focus on Chinese stocks.

Crude oil values fell to levels not seen since Dec of 2003 after breaking the 2009 low.

With the USDA reports only a few hours’ away, traders are making last minute adjustments. Trader's think the quarterly stocks number carries the most uncertainty as weather conditions and livestock numbers could have a big impact on 1st quarter usage. Outside market influences on grains will decline as we approach the 11:00 hour.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Satellite Technology Making a Difference in Agriculture - Via Satellite

Satellite Technology Making a Difference in Agriculture - Via Satellite: The Internet of Things (IoT) has been mentioned in almost as many conversations as small satellites over the last 12 months. It is a hot buzzword as the satellite industry looks to play in new verticals that need connected devices. One area where satellite and cellular technology could make a greater impact going forward is in agriculture. A company that is looking to take advantage of the need for this enhanced connectivity is Field Intell, an outfit that develops turnkey smart monitoring solutions for its customers. Field Intell works with companies such as IRZ Consulting, which�provide water resource engineering with state-of-the-art technologically advanced irrigation, resource management (water, power and human) and conservation services to its agricultural client base.

‘Godzilla’ El Nino could put excitement in cotton market | Cotton content from Western Farm Press

‘Godzilla’ El Nino could put excitement in cotton market | Cotton content from Western Farm Press: “In the United States, we could see plantings increase from 8.6 million acres to a little over 9.1 million acres in 2016,” he said. “We could have pretty decent yields (of 828 pounds per acre) and 14.7 million bales in production. If we have a strong El Nino, it could easily be back 13 to 13.2 million bales this next year."

Oil prices fall for sixth day as recovery hopes wane - Yahoo Finance

Oil prices fall for sixth day as recovery hopes wane - Yahoo Finance: Oil prices fell for a sixth session to trade at almost 12-year lows on Monday as concerns about China's economic slowdown, reflected in a renewed slide in its stock markets, weighed on the outlook for demand this year.

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center

Wake Up Call Allendale Advisory Center: Grain markets are lower as South American weather supports improving crop conditions. Outside markets weigh on traders attitude with crude oil and China stock market under presure.

Price action for the first week of the year was the worst of all time in the stock indices. Grain markets were stable with corn down 1 3/4 cents, soybeans up 1 cent and wheat up 8 � cents. Traders are trying to get positioned for one of the most important USDA data release days of the year.

There are many�weather forecasters beginning to pull an

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Conway woman tours farms in Cuba

Conway woman tours farms in Cuba: Sandra Leyva of Conway went to Cuba and said she came home even more passionate about promoting the local-food movement.

Leyva, executive director of The Locals, spent eight days at the fifth annual AgroEcology Conference, touring farms and talking to growers, representatives of cooperatives and schoolchildren.

The Locals, a nonprofit organization, sponsors two programs — the Faulkner County Urban Farm Project, a community garden at the Faulkner County Library in Conway, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture-grant-funded Locals Food Hub, which includes pop-up farmers markets.

Howell: Cotton futures lose ground amid new China worries | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Howell: Cotton futures lose ground amid new China worries | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Worries about the global economy amid tumbling world stock markets drove U.S. cotton futures to a 13-week low close on ramped-up volume last week.

Spot March lost 185 points for the week ended Thursday to close at 61.43 cents, its lowest finish since Oct. 2. Daily volumes climbed as high as an estimated 41,400 lots, largest since Nov. 16. New-crop December shed 175 points to settle at 62.97 cents.

Nosedives in Chinese equities and skids in China’s yuan currency aroused fears about the health of the world’s second-largest economy, spreading turmoil in markets around the world.

South Africa: Drought Leads to Failed Crops, Water Shortages - ABC News

South Africa: Drought Leads to Failed Crops, Water Shortages - ABC News: The main street of this dusty South African town is lined with empty buckets, marking each residents' place in line as they wait for their daily water ration to be brought in by unreliable trucks.

Keeping watch over her buckets, Pulaleng Chakela sleeps in a wheelbarrow on the side of the road to save her spot in the line. The 30-year-old wraps herself in a little blanket as temperatures drop overnight, and asks a male friend to sit nearby for safety.

"If I don't wait here all night, the water will be finished," she said.

China must cut corn prices to clear stockpile: state media, Consumer - THE BUSINESS TIMES

China must cut corn prices to clear stockpile: state media, Consumer - THE BUSINESS TIMES: China must lower corn prices to reduce its massive corn stockpile and curb imports of corn substitutes including barley, sorghum and distillers' grain, state media quoted a senior agricultural official as saying.

Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, said China needed to modify its reserve-based crop price support mechanism to curb the mounting grain stockpile, state-run China Daily newspaper reported on Saturday.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Agriculture: An Income Play Now, a Growth Play Later - Monsanto (NYSE:MON) - 24/7 Wall St.

Agriculture: An Income Play Now, a Growth Play Later - Monsanto (NYSE:MON) - 24/7 Wall St.: It has been a tough half decade in agriculture. Major exchange traded funds have tanked, with the PowerShares DB Agriculture ETF (NYSEMKT: DBA) down nearly 45% on 2011 highs, and industry behemoths such as Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON) down across the board. A snapshot of analyst opinions suggests expectations of a continued slump, as fears of a reduction in demand from China and oversupply across the majority of soft commodities weigh on prices and sentiment. Among all the bearish sentiment, however, there may be an opportunity for a contrarian approach. That opportunity is rooted in disparity.

Dairy farms harder to shift as payout drops | Radio New Zealand News

Dairy farms harder to shift as payout drops | Radio New Zealand News: TradeMe has 41 listings for dairy farms in the deep south, and PPG Wrightson Real Estate Southland says the number of properties for sale now is higher than at the same time last year.
The company's manager Andrew Patterson said there were a number of reasons why farmers were selling up, but the underlying reason was the low payout, which was half what it was two years ago.
He said while rural properties listed at between $1 million and $4 million were selling, dairy farms valued at $6 - $10 million were proving difficult to shift.

Sarah Palin seeks candidate for loaded desert retreat - LA Times

Sarah Palin seeks candidate for loaded desert retreat - LA Times: Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has listed her gated estate in Scottsdale, Ariz., for sale at $2.499 million.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot home, built in 2001, is set at the end of a wraparound driveway. The main house is a blend of Santa Barbara, Tuscan and Spanish styles. High ceilings, chandeliers and wrought-iron railings are among interior details.

Adora-Couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski List ‘Sexy’ Home at $8M

Adora-Couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski List ‘Sexy’ Home at $8M: Emily Blunt and John Krasinski’s Hollywood Hills home
The home sits on about a third of an acre in the Hollywood Hills. (Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty via Catherine Marcus, shot by Michael Izquierdo, Beverly Hills Aerial)

Video: Sugarcane Grinding Season Finishing Up.

Video: Sugarcane Grinding Season Finishing Up.: This year’s sugarcane grinding season is finally wrapping up. This season will be remembered for its dry, fast start with high sugar recovery levels that eventually turned into a wet, muddy finish with lower sugar recovered. LSU AgCenter correspondent Craig Gautreaux has the story.

Brace Yourself for a Volatile Tuesday (AUDIO) | Agweb.com

Brace Yourself for a Volatile Tuesday (AUDIO) | Agweb.com: “On 11 o’ clock Tuesday, you’re going to get a lot of wild gyrations going into that report,” both before and after the data is released, predicted Jerry Gulke, speaking with Farm Journal Radio’s Pam Fretwell. “How we close will tell you how everybody votes and how they think things are going to look in the future.”

Friday, January 08, 2016

Global farmland investment expert takes up OFC reins | NFU news - NFU Online

Global farmland investment expert takes up OFC reins | NFU news - NFU Online: A global farmland investment expert will be the next chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference, it was announced this week.

Martin Davies, chief executive of Westchester Group Investment Management Europe, will be at the helm of the 2017 conference.

He will lead the Oxford Farming Conference for the next 12 months, delivering the range of activities undertaken by the charity’s board of directors, including the Arable Conference at the Cereals Event, the comprehensive scholar programme and the main 2017 conference.

Farmland Values Stabilize in Western Corn Belt | Agweb.com

Farmland Values Stabilize in Western Corn Belt | Agweb.com: Farmland values remained stable to slightly weaker in the western Corn Belt the last half of 2015, according to the semi-annual appraisal update conducted by Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica), Omaha, Neb., and Frontier Farm Credit, Manhattan, Kansas. The appraisal teams of the two large ag lenders update the value of 71 benchmark farms each Jan. 1 and July 1. Frontier Farm Credit joined FCSAmerica in this semi-annual appraisal update in January 2015, which means historical data will be available for Kansas over time.

Kern farmland holds its value as boom wanes - The Bakersfield Californian

Kern farmland holds its value as boom wanes - The Bakersfield Californian: Prices for Kern County agricultural property held stable last year, and rose in some cases, according to a new report suggesting the boom in local farmland since 2005 may have slowed but has not gone bust.

The year-end 2015 report by Bakersfield brokerage Alliance Ag Services says local farmland at least maintained its value in most categories, but that where it didn’t, the problem was access to water as opposed to investors losing their enthusiasm for agriculture.

China’s economic problems being felt by Wisconsin agriculture | News - Channel3000.com

China’s economic problems being felt by Wisconsin agriculture | News - Channel3000.com: China, with its emerging middle class, helped to drive what was called a “golden era” in Wisconsin agriculture. To feed one of the world’s largest populations, China purchased dairy, poultry, meat and grains from Wisconsin farmers. Approximately one-fifth of the world’s population lives in China.

“The impact that China has on global agriculture can never be undersold. Imagine that half of the pigs on the entire planet are consumed in China. Even closer to home in Wisconsin, one out of every four rows of corn in the United States is going to China,” Langan said.

The weakening of China’s currency, combined with the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, has also caused problems. China has turned to New Zealand for purchases of dairy and South America to buy grains.