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Monday, February 15, 2016

Midwest Farmers Share Thoughts on Upcoming Crop Season

Cutting costs and we... | Business News | Agriculture: Tis the season for Midwest farmer meetings. With so many concerns about the farming industry, and cold weather thrown in for good measure, you have a recipe for good attendance. What exactly is on the minds these days of a U.S. corn and soybean farmer?
To find out, Agriculture.com sat down with Matt and Brian Stalzer, Marshall County, Iowa, farmers, following a recent farmland owners workshop hosted by Iowa State University Extension.

Why Is China Spending $43 Billion for a Farming Company? | Foreign Policy

00001Why Is China Spending $43 Billion for a Farming Company? | Foreign Policy: ina’s biggest-ever overseas acquisition, announced this month, isn’t about gobbling up resources to feed its industrial maw, broadening its financial leverage, or enhancing its strategic position. Rather, the $43 billion bid for Swiss agricultural company Syngenta is about something a lot more basic and a lot more important: ensuring that its farms will be able to produce enough food to keep pace with the country’s still-growing population, already the world’s largest.

Editorial: Clean up water by focusing on landlords

Editorial: Clean up water by focusing on landlords: If�ever there was�an easy time to be a farmer, it’s not now. Crop prices are low and show few signs of rising. Net farm income in 2016 is expected to hit its lowest level since 2002. And producers are under fire for polluting water from here to the Gulf of Mexico.

Farmers might rightly feel a bit defensive. Much of the debate over Iowa’s dismal water quality has focused on whether farmers are doing enough. That question, however, misses an important point.

Just 20 percent of Iowa farmland owners who rent out land actually farm�themselves, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The rest are “non-operator landlords” — retired farmers, investors and heirs. Some live in cities or out of state. About 40 percent have never farmed before.

Centre, West Bengal in row over growing tea on farmland - The Hindu

Centre, West Bengal in row over growing tea on farmland - The Hindu: The Centre is at loggerheads with the West Bengal over the State government’s one-and-a-half -decade-old notification banning conversion of agricultural land into tea cultivation area.

Stating that the 2001 notification was affecting a large number of small growers — estimated to be around 20,000 — mainly in north Bengal, the Centre recently asked the West Bengal government to lift the ban.

However, the State government says the ban — imposed as part of land reforms — was to prevent ‘tea gardeners’ from purchasing (forcibly and through other means such as cheating) land belonging to tribal people. The ban is also to prevent tea gardeners from illegally encroaching upon government-owned land. Besides, the State government says the prohibition was to maintain “an appropriate environmental balance in life and livelihood” in the area.

Go into agriculture, younger generation urged - Nation | The Star Online

Go into agriculture, younger generation urged - Nation | The Star Online: Malaysia will face a food crisis if the younger generation continues to neglect the agriculture and agro-based sectors.

"There is no crisis yet, but for a car to move, you must have the engine.

"The engine for this (agriculture and agro-based) industry is the people," said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (pic).

He was speaking at a press conference Monday where he was asked if labour shortage in the industry could lead to a food crisis.

Warm weather affects peach crops at local farms | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WGXA

Warm weather affects peach crops at local farms | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | WGXA: Historically, February 15th has been the final day for peach farmers to accumulate "chill hours" for their peaches.

December 2015 was very warm and peach farmers were unable to accumulate hours.

Peach varieties need anywhere from 600-1000 of temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hawaii’s Kampachi Farms plans expansion of offshore aquaculture | Undercurrent News

Hawaii’s Kampachi Farms plans expansion of offshore aquaculture | Undercurrent News: Hawaiian aquaculture research company�Kampachi Farms plans a significant expansion of an experimental project to farm kampachi in offshore pens, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported.

The company plans to build a 40-foot-wide cylindrical pen stocked with 15,000 fish in federal waters 5.5 miles off of Keauhou, a community on the west of the main island of Hawaii.

Slimming down on the Nebraska farms - The Norfolk Daily News : News

Slimming down on the Nebraska farms - The Norfolk Daily News : News: When Tyler Ramsey joined his father, Myles Ramsey, as the fifth generation on the family farm near Kenesaw in south-central Nebraska, he began a lesson in risk management a lot sooner than he bargained for.
It was 2012, and corn prices for the market year extending into 2013 hit $7.50 per bushel in parts of Nebraska.
Fast-forward four years to last week. Corn prices at rural Nebraska elevators brought less than $3.25 a bushel in many parts of the state.

Is urban farming only for rich hipsters? | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

Is urban farming only for rich hipsters? | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian: By leveraging environmental credentials, such as local, sustainable and transparent production, a new wave of urban agriculture enterprises are justifying a premium price. But while a higher price point might better reflect the true cost of food production and help build a viable business, it can also exclude lower income groups, fuelling perception that local, sustainably produced food is the preserve of food elitists.

African farmers are accessing new land – now they need more expertise

African farmers are accessing new land – now they need more expertise: With the opening of new farmland in countries like Uganda, farmers there can now feed the local population – if they get the help we receive from Teagasc and Bord Bia, writes GOAL’s CEO Barry Andrews.
Buy land they say, because they are making no more of it.

Well, in Africa, they are.

Increased agricultural production is necessary if we are to meet the global challenges of an increasing population.

Large tracts of land are being opened up across Africa to commercial agriculture for the first time.

This can often be a controversial process, where semi-nomadic pastoral farmers are ushered off their underused traditional lands to make way for industrial-scale farming.

Organic agriculture comes up trumps in US research - Agriland

Organic agriculture comes up trumps in US research - Agriland: US research has concluded that organic agriculture will be an important resource in facing challenges such as climate change.

That is the conclusion of a US doctoral thesis, which reviewed 40 years of science comparing the long-term prospects of organic and conventional farming.

Oil, gas and agriculture struggles mean tough times in rural Kansas ( video) | The Wichita Eagle

Oil, gas and agriculture struggles mean tough times in rural Kansas ( video) | The Wichita Eagle: The sheer number of mud-spattered pickup trucks says a lot about what people here do all day.

For a century, the people of this central Kansas town have built a life around the up-and-down businesses of oil and farming.

These days, that’s not a happy thing.

Russell, like most of rural Kansas, is in recession. Plunging oil, gas and agriculture prices have forced businesses to lay off and families to cut back.