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Friday, January 01, 2016

Meet Iowa's poster child for farm conservation

Meet Iowa's poster child for farm conservation: Steve Berger pulls a bright yellow sponge and a small glass container filled with a silty soil from a box he carries to presentations.

The sponge represents what the 52-year-old says is happening in the soil on 2,200 acres he farms in southeast Iowa. The container shows dirt that's been beaten by rain, wind and machinery over several decades.

"We always want something covering the�soil," said Berger, who with his late�father, Dennis, worked decades�building their farm's�soil health so�it would better hold water and nutrients.

The men�began no-till farming about 35 years ago, and 15 years ago started planting�cover crops each fall — both part of the�conservation practices�the�state is urging farmers to adopt to help improve Iowa's troubling water quality.

Levee in Ste. Genevieve Co. breaches, floods farmland; no injuri - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Levee in Ste. Genevieve Co. breaches, floods farmland; no injuri - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff: Officials say a levee was breached late Thursday afternoon/early evening in Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri.�

According to Ste. Genevieve EMA Director Felix Meyer, it�happened south of the City of Ste. Genevieve and north of the Bourbon Port.

Farms in state lost more than $335 million to drought in 2015 | The Seattle Times

Farms in state lost more than $335 million to drought in 2015 | The Seattle Times: A study of the 2015 Washington state drought estimates more than $335 million in farm losses, with the damage toll expected to mount as more information is gathered in the months ahead.

“This is meant to be an early snapshot of what we are looking at,” said Hector Castro, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture, which released the interim study on Thursday. “I think the big take-away is that it (the drought) clearly did some significant damage.”

Agriculture as a Gateway to Poverty Alleviation | FoodTank.com

Agriculture as a Gateway to Poverty Alleviation | FoodTank.com: The Chicago Council on Global Affairs seeks to provide insight and impact discourse on important global issues. The Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative aims to promote policy innovations and accountability, as well as food security as a strategy for poverty alleviation. In addition, the Council facilitates discussion on global food security issues by hosting an annual symposium.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Louise Iverson, research associate, at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

What 2015's Big Deals Might Mean for Agriculture | Agweb.com

What 2015's Big Deals Might Mean for Agriculture | Agweb.com: The past year has brought a whirlwind of big ag deals as companies in the seed, machinery and insurance sectors and more consolidate in search of more market share and greater efficiencies.

Towns south of St. Louis prepare for Mississippi River floods | Fox News

Towns south of St. Louis prepare for Mississippi River floods | Fox News: As flood-weary towns near St. Louis began to regroup from record high water, Mississippi River communities farther south braced for the peak of flooding that has already damaged hundreds of homes and businesses and killed nearly two dozen people.

The water level on the Mississippi River was on the way down at St. Louis after reaching to within 7 1/2 feet of the 1993 record on Thursday. A floodwall protected the city, which had minimal damage. The Missouri River in eastern Missouri also was on the decline. The worst flooding was on the smaller Meramec River.

5 Lessons Learned from the Dairy Market in 2015 | Agweb.com

5 Lessons Learned from the Dairy Market in 2015 | Agweb.com: Here's the top five things that impacted the dairy markets this year and what you and your farm operation need to know for�the year ahead

2016 Outlook: Higher Milk Prices Are On the Way - Dairy - News | Agweb.com

2016 Outlook: Higher Milk Prices Are On the Way - Dairy - News | Agweb.com: While milk prices are at or just above break-even cost of production levels heading into 2016, there is hope on the horizon.

That’s according to Tim Hunt, an economist and global dairy strategist with Rabobank. Hunt spoke recently at Dairy Today’s Elite Producer Business conference in Las Vegas.

Want to Be More Successful? Read These Books | Agweb.com

Want to Be More Successful? Read These Books | Agweb.com: Read these books so the next success story is yours

Want a better handle on building your business? Reading is fundamental.

The trouble is deciding where to start. Which of the thousands of business books out there are worth dusting off and cracking open?

To answer that question, it’s helpful to ask for personal recommendations.�

Look for Well-Disguised Opportunities in 2016 | Agweb.com

Look for Well-Disguised Opportunities in 2016 | Agweb.com: For those of us of a certain age, the pastime of distilling years of experiences into near-wisdom occupies (too) much of our time. Occasionally, we do seem to stumble into moderately useful advice. The following might qualify as such.

As the farm economy plows through more troubled waters, there will be great opportunities to grow your business, improve your competitive position and boost your future prospects. Those opportunities, though, won’t look like what you might think.

Propane Fuels the Farm | Agweb.com

Propane Fuels the Farm | Agweb.com: With record storage of 100 million barrels, propane�production is on the rise and prices remain low.�

“At first propane was about high diesel prices, but now there’s so much more happening,” says Bryan Rodgers. “Fill-ups, service, maintenance, and more; we take care of it all and that’s much less headache for a farmer and lets him spend time elsewhere on his land.” Rodgers, a salesman with Scott Petroleum, Inc., in Tutwiler, Miss., is watching demand build for propane engines on grain dryers and irrigation wells. “On our farms, I’m definitely installing more propane-driven engines.”

Clock is Ticking on South American Crop | Agweb.com

Clock is Ticking on South American Crop | Agweb.com: Between the weather reports from Brazil and the trade policy changes in Argentina, many are wondering how to handicap the South American corn and soybean crops this year—and its effects on U.S. prices.