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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.