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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.�