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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Govt stats predict miracle for India’s devastated farms | india | Hindustan Times

Govt stats predict miracle for India’s devastated farms | india | Hindustan Times: If government data are anything to go by, India’s weather-beaten farms are looking at a miracle. Despite a crippling 14% deficient monsoon in half the country and possibly a smaller crop, the agriculture ministry expects higher output, prompting experts to wonder how the data might square up.
According to the second advance estimates – or the second of the four official projections of farm output made in a year – food-grain output will rise to about 253.2 million tonne in 2015-16, compared to 252 million tonne in the previous year. That’s roughly one million tonne more.

Federal grants could boost new products from Nebraska farms

Federal grants could boost new products from Nebraska farms: A United States Department of Agriculture official is pushing Nebraska producers to apply for federal grants to develop new businesses.

USDA Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul announced Monday that the 2016 cycle of Value-Added Producer Grants can help the state's rural farmers and ranchers develop and market products.

The grants will have additional funding this year from the authorizations passed by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.

For normally stoic farmers, the stress of climate change can be too much to bear | Toronto Star

For normally stoic farmers, the stress of climate change can be too much to bear | Toronto Star: The wind was unusually strong, and it swept across Saskatchewan farmland without warning or mercy to canola farmers who had just cut and laid out their crops to dry.
Kim Keller, 31, remembers the mid-September day clearly. It was 2012, her first year working back on the family’s 4,900-hectare grain farm in Gronlid, a hamlet about 200 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon. An auto insurance adjuster for the previous six years, Keller realized after a decade away that the farm is where she yearned to be.
The windstorm was fast, furious and persistent. “We watched as all our hard work was literally blown away,” Keller said. “I wondered to myself, what did I just do? I had quit a stable job, and in my first year of farming my crop was literally gone. It had a massive impact on our livelihood.”

A growing way to farm - South Bend Tribune: Market Basket

A growing way to farm - South Bend Tribune: Market Basket: t's a little crazy when you see it for the first time. It's like stepping into some futuristic growing operation in a science-fiction movie.
Rows of towers stacked high with leafy greens, all under the soft, pinkish glow of LED lights. You almost expect hovering robots to dart around tending to the veggies.

Caribbean to benefit from on line course in biotechnology in agriculture | Antigua Observer Newspaper

Caribbean to benefit from on line course in biotechnology in agriculture | Antigua Observer Newspaper: The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) says agricultural technicians, specialists and producers from Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) will be able to benefit from a course on applied biotechnology in Agriculture next month.

It said the objective of the online course is to improve agricultural production in the region and strengthen national capacities.

The technical training course for professionals and producers is organized by IICA and the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute of Irapuato (CINVESTAV).

Montana's agriculture economy takes a hit as prices drop | News | billingsgazette.com

Montana's agriculture economy takes a hit as prices drop | News | billingsgazette.com: Montana’s wheat bubble is rapidly deflating, according to the 2015 pricing reports issued this week....

Dwindling bee, butterfly populations pose agriculture threat - UPI.com

Dwindling bee, butterfly populations pose agriculture threat - UPI.com: Important invertebrate pollinator species, like the honeybee and butterfly, are under a threat of extinction due to a number of environmental pressures, many of them man-made, a new study found.

TIAA-CREF and the University of Illinois launch TIAA-C | TIAA

TIAA-CREF and the University of Illinois launch TIAA-C | TIAA: TIAA-CREF, a leading financial services provider, today launched the TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research at the University of Illinois. The new center will enhance the university’s research and educational initiatives for its students and the agricultural community, including investors, farmers, researchers and businesses.

The TIAA-CREF Center for Farmland Research will conduct research and host academic symposiums focused on farmland prices and the financial aspects of farm management. The center will serve as a specialized academic unit within the university’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. It will also support Farmdoc, the university’s widely-read online research program on the agricultural sector. An advisory board of TIAA-CREF and university representatives will provide guidance for the center.

Drop in Farm Income ... | Business News | Agriculture

Drop in Farm Income ... | Business News | Agriculture: The third year in a row of low farm income will intensify financial strain on producers and could lead to some agricultural consolidation, said economist Nathan Kauffman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. "2016 is a critical year," he said, for operators who depleted working capital over the past two years.
"Anytime you see an industry in transition, you typically tend to see some of this re-allocation of assets," Kauffman said in a presentation at USDA's annual Outlook Forum. "That's the manner in which it would probably be most likely, where you would see producers starting to face difficulty in liquidity (and) needing to to sell some assets."

Ag banks share financial outlook for early 2016 - AgriNews

Ag banks share financial outlook for early 2016 - AgriNews: Bankers project less across the board for farm income, farm spending, farmland value and cash rent.

At least that is what the latest quarterly survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis indicates. Economist Kevin Kliesen prepared the survey report, and he recently shared the results collected from Dec. 15 to Dec. 30 by the bank.

The information is based on the responses from 33 agricultural banks within the boundaries of the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses all or parts of seven Midwest and Mid-South states, including the southern half of Illinois. Here are highlights:

Investment Trends - Advice for investors: Buy the farm

Investment Trends - Advice for investors: Buy the farm: As the global middle class grows and its appetite for protein expands, a Union Grove money manager is proposing a relatively new way for individual investors to play the trend: farmland.

It is a well-known phenomenon that as they gain wealth, emerging market consumers add more protein to their diets.

And the shift from rice to chicken and pork fuels demand for grain.

"It takes about eight pounds of grain to create one pound of meat, so demand goes up geometrically as more and more meat is consumed," said Richard P. Imperiale, president of Uniplan Advisors Inc.

In the U.S., farmland properties have regularly outperformed other real estate asset classes over the long term, Imperiale said.