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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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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.