Arkansas Farmers Suing Monsanto, BASF over Dicamba

Jun 21, 2017 33
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A group of Arkansas farmers is suing Monsanto and BASF over dicamba-based herbicide spray drift that killed neighboring crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. The lawsuit comes as Arkansas’s Plant Board voted Tuesday to limit Dicamba applications of Engenia herbicide to hooded sprayers only, with a one-mile downwind buffer. Engenia is the only dicamba-based herbicide that can be used in Arkansas after April 15th. The lawsuit filed last week claims Monsanto and BASF implemented and controlled the dicamba crop system, releasing seed technology without a corresponding, safe, and approved herbicide. The farmers allege that Monsanto and BASF sold the dicamba crop system while knowing it could wipe out crops, fruits, and trees that are not dicamba tolerant. The farmers claim that those who do not plant dicamba tolerant crops are left with no protection from the herbicide.

Arkansas is investigating more than 100 dicamba drift complaints this year.

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Source: NAFB News Service

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Indiana Has the Proof, Conservation is Working

Jun 20, 2017 40

  Indiana Has the Proof, Conservation is Working

Indiana farmers are working hard to save soil, prevent runoff, and improve water quality. Unlike some of our neighbors, we have the proof that it is working. At meeting of the Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana Departments of Agriculture on Monday which dealt with the subject of farmland runoff into the Lake Erie watershed, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney hosted a media briefing in advance of the Midwest Association of the State Departments of Agriculture’s Annual Meeting.  The purpose was to discuss efforts to protect and preserve water resources, including improving water quality, protecting groundwater, and common efforts in the western Lake Erie basin.

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The directors compared notes on the progress each state is making.  While Ohio did not have data on how successful their programs are, ISDA Director Ted McKinney said Indiana has proof that what Hoosier farmers are doing is working. “We know since 2014 we have doubled the amount of settlement we have retained on the soil moving from 23,000 tones to just shy of 50,000 tons,” he said. “The same is true for phosphors going from 28,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds kept on the land. Likewise for nitrogen going from  56,000 pounds up to 126,000 pounds retained on the land.” McKinney added that, for every acre counted in the official numbers, there are up to 4 additional acres that farmers manage on their own that save additional soil and runoff.

The Indiana General Assembly recently allocated additional resources to address farming practices in the Lake Erie watershed in Northeast Indiana. McKinney said this involves a new effort to reach the considerable Amish population, “The Amish are great people, but are not prone to following some of these farming practices. We are finding our way into the Bishops and reaching the farmers in these communities and helping them, in their own way, to implement these conservation practices.” He added many of the Amish communities are in the Lake Erie watershed to their participation is very important.

All three state leaders agreed, however, that it will take more time, research, effort, and money to address soil and water conservation issues in the Great Lakes areas as well as all of the Corn Belt. Ohio director Daniels said he was confident there would be continued funding of this project from Washington, despite the fact that it had been cut in the Trump budget proposal.  Michigan director Adams acknowledged water quality in Lake Erie is a complicated issue that involves climate change and the activities of many other sources outside of agriculture.

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Indiana Has the Proof, Conservation is Working

Jun 20, 2017 30

  Indiana Has the Proof, Conservation is Working

Indiana farmers are working hard to save soil, prevent runoff, and improve water quality. Unlike some of our neighbors, we have the proof that it is working. At meeting of the Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana Departments of Agriculture on Monday which dealt with the subject of farmland runoff into the Lake Erie watershed, Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Ted McKinney hosted a media briefing in advance of the Midwest Association of the State Departments of Agriculture’s Annual Meeting.  The purpose was to discuss efforts to protect and preserve water resources, including improving water quality, protecting groundwater, and common efforts in the western Lake Erie basin.

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The directors compared notes on the progress each state is making.  While Ohio did not have data on how successful their programs are, ISDA Director Ted McKinney said Indiana has proof that what Hoosier farmers are doing is working. “We know since 2014 we have doubled the amount of settlement we have retained on the soil moving from 23,000 tones to just shy of 50,000 tons,” he said. “The same is true for phosphors going from 28,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds kept on the land. Likewise for nitrogen going from  56,000 pounds up to 126,000 pounds retained on the land.” McKinney added that, for every acre counted in the official numbers, there are up to 4 additional acres that farmers manage on their own that save additional soil and runoff.

The Indiana General Assembly recently allocated additional resources to address farming practices in the Lake Erie watershed in Northeast Indiana. McKinney said this involves a new effort to reach the considerable Amish population, “The Amish are great people, but are not prone to following some of these farming practices. We are finding our way into the Bishops and reaching the farmers in these communities and helping them, in their own way, to implement these conservation practices.” He added many of the Amish communities are in the Lake Erie watershed to their participation is very important.

All three state leaders agreed, however, that it will take more time, research, effort, and money to address soil and water conservation issues in the Great Lakes areas as well as all of the Corn Belt. Ohio director Daniels said he was confident there would be continued funding of this project from Washington, despite the fact that it had been cut in the Trump budget proposal.  Michigan director Adams acknowledged water quality in Lake Erie is a complicated issue that involves climate change and the activities of many other sources outside of agriculture.

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Indiana Corn Fields a Sea of Inconsistency

Jun 19, 2017 27

Variability in corn

As expected with a very choppy spring planting season, Indiana crops are off to a start full of variability. During a check on crops north of Frankfort in Clinton County Monday, fields right next to each other look very different, depending on the planting date and whether replant was necessary. Agronomist Matt Hutcheson says that’s an accurate snapshot of all of Indiana.

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“I think there are problems everywhere,” he told HAT. “It’s kind of scattered and some areas are worse than others, but everyone has faced the same issues across the state.”

Heavy rains kept farmers from planting when they wanted to and created many replant situations this year. In some cases replanting has occurred over and over again, leading to a staggered start and creating what will be a season of adjustments.

“We have earlier planted corn that’s going to pollinate earlier, mature earlier at harvest and dry down faster, and then this later planted corn is going to pollinate several weeks later and we’ll be wetter at harvest. So, throughout the growing season we’re going to be looking at corn in various stages of development, and even in harvest we’ll be facing some management decisions in terms of which fields to harvest first, which are dryer, and where we may need to run the dryers a little bit more in the fall.”

As Hutcheson looks way down the road to the Indiana harvest, some areas could have decent corn yields, “but I think there are going to be a lot of areas where the yields are going to be reduced,” he said. “Maybe not a whole field had to be replanted but parts of it or there’s parts of fields that were drowned out and may not produce anything. So, those pockets of low to no yield in our fields this year are going to be an issue and are definitely going to bring down our averages.”

Watch the HAT YouTube channel for field video of the Frankfort crop visit and Hutcheson’s answers to frequent farmer questions. Matt Hutcheson is product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc.

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Indiana Corn Fields a Sea of Inconsistency

Jun 19, 2017 28

Variability in corn

As expected with a very choppy spring planting season, Indiana crops are off to a start full of variability. During a check on crops north of Frankfort in Clinton County Monday, fields right next to each other look very different, depending on the planting date and whether replant was necessary. Agronomist Matt Hutcheson says that’s an accurate snapshot of all of Indiana.

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“I think there are problems everywhere,” he told HAT. “It’s kind of scattered and some areas are worse than others, but everyone has faced the same issues across the state.”

Heavy rains kept farmers from planting when they wanted to and created many replant situations this year. In some cases replanting has occurred over and over again, leading to a staggered start and creating what will be a season of adjustments.

“We have earlier planted corn that’s going to pollinate earlier, mature earlier at harvest and dry down faster, and then this later planted corn is going to pollinate several weeks later and we’ll be wetter at harvest. So, throughout the growing season we’re going to be looking at corn in various stages of development, and even in harvest we’ll be facing some management decisions in terms of which fields to harvest first, which are dryer, and where we may need to run the dryers a little bit more in the fall.”

As Hutcheson looks way down the road to the Indiana harvest, some areas could have decent corn yields, “but I think there are going to be a lot of areas where the yields are going to be reduced,” he said. “Maybe not a whole field had to be replanted but parts of it or there’s parts of fields that were drowned out and may not produce anything. So, those pockets of low to no yield in our fields this year are going to be an issue and are definitely going to bring down our averages.”

Watch the HAT YouTube channel for field video of the Frankfort crop visit and Hutcheson’s answers to frequent farmer questions. Matt Hutcheson is product manager for Seed Consultants, Inc.

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Storms and Heat Continue to Batter Indiana Crops

Jun 19, 2017 23
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Heat and humidity settled in and storms delivered heavy amounts of rain in many areas, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures helped crop growth and wheat ripening. However, some storms were severe enough to leave the standing water and some crop damage. The statewide average temperature was 77.3 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal. Statewide precipitation was 1.77 inches, above average by 0.77 inches. There were 4.3 days available for fieldwork for the week ending June 18, down 2.4 days from the previous week.

Statewide 45% of Indiana corn was rated in good to excellent condition while 52% of soybeans were rated as good to excellent. Nationally corn condition remained unchanged while soybean condition rating increased slightly.
Corn was 92% emerged in the North, 93% in Central, and 92% in the South. Soybeans were 97% planted in the North, 96% in Central, and 94% in the South. Soybeans were 86% emerged in the North, 83% in Central, and 81% in the South. Winter wheat was 48% mature in the North, 65% in Central, and 90% in the South. Winter wheat harvest hasn’t started in the North but is at 6% in Central, and 60% in the South.
There were heavy amounts of rain in Benton, Tippecanoe and White Counties. Rain fell throughout the state but was heaviest through the central region, with lower amounts falling in southwestern and northeastern Indiana. Some wheat was blown down due to high winds. There was little change in crop and pasture conditions, but the recent window for side dressing and weed spraying appears to have helped corn. Livestock was reported to be in a little stress due to the heat.

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Storms and Heat Continue to Batter Indiana Crops

Jun 19, 2017 0
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Heat and humidity settled in and storms delivered heavy amounts of rain in many areas, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Temperatures helped crop growth and wheat ripening. However, some storms were severe enough to leave the standing water and some crop damage. The statewide average temperature was 77.3 degrees, 5.7 degrees above normal. Statewide precipitation was 1.77 inches, above average by 0.77 inches. There were 4.3 days available for fieldwork for the week ending June 18, down 2.4 days from the previous week.

Statewide 45% of Indiana corn was rated in good to excellent condition while 52% of soybeans were rated as good to excellent. Nationally corn condition remained unchanged while soybean condition rating increased slightly.
Corn was 92% emerged in the North, 93% in Central, and 92% in the South. Soybeans were 97% planted in the North, 96% in Central, and 94% in the South. Soybeans were 86% emerged in the North, 83% in Central, and 81% in the South. Winter wheat was 48% mature in the North, 65% in Central, and 90% in the South. Winter wheat harvest hasn’t started in the North but is at 6% in Central, and 60% in the South.
There were heavy amounts of rain in Benton, Tippecanoe and White Counties. Rain fell throughout the state but was heaviest through the central region, with lower amounts falling in southwestern and northeastern Indiana. Some wheat was blown down due to high winds. There was little change in crop and pasture conditions, but the recent window for side dressing and weed spraying appears to have helped corn. Livestock was reported to be in a little stress due to the heat.

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White House Names Ag Trade Negotiator Nominee

Jun 19, 2017 21
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President Donald Trump is nominating a former Senate Agriculture Committee aide and agriculture industry economist as the chief agricultural negotiator from the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. The White House confirmed Gregg Doud as the nominee. Doud is currently the president of the Commodity Markets Council, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association. He worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee between 2011 and 2013, and worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as an economist for eight years. The American Farm Bureau Federation calls Doud “experienced in all levels of agricultural policy and economics.”

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Kansas native will take the post previously held by Darci Vetter in the Obama administration.

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Source: NAFB News Service

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White House Names Ag Trade Negotiator Nominee

Jun 19, 2017 21
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President Donald Trump is nominating a former Senate Agriculture Committee aide and agriculture industry economist as the chief agricultural negotiator from the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. The White House confirmed Gregg Doud as the nominee. Doud is currently the president of the Commodity Markets Council, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association. He worked for the Senate Agriculture Committee between 2011 and 2013, and worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association as an economist for eight years. The American Farm Bureau Federation calls Doud “experienced in all levels of agricultural policy and economics.”

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the Kansas native will take the post previously held by Darci Vetter in the Obama administration.

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Source: NAFB News Service

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Ethanol Industry Thinking Strategically

Jun 19, 2017 21
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Using ethanol personally, promoting the fuel to the public and supporting ethanol-friendly legislation have been bread-and-butter activities for corn farmers and their respective associations for more than two decades. Although this is not likely to change in the months and years ahead, challenges and pressures on the ethanol front make strategic thinking and demand-driving initiatives increasingly critical.

State and National Corn Grower staff just concluded two days of meetings to conduct an in-depth, state of the ethanol industry analysis in Bloomington, Illinois at the offices of Illinois Corn. The goal was to discuss and review the ethanol plan constructed by the group last November. As market conditions and the political environment change, the plan will continue to evolve.

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During last week’s meeting, participants heard from various speakers and received updates on market conditions, legislative and regulatory issues and projects. Speakers included Marty Ruikka with ProExporter, who reviewed economic conditions and forecasts along with Scott Richman with Informa Economics who provided an update on ethanol-related analyses being conducted on behalf of NCGA and the U.S. Grains Council.

“We have to recognize that the current yield trend requires us (farmers and related industry) to always be engaged in capital maintenance and marketing mode. Organizations like NCGA, U.S. Grains Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation have to be super aggressive to keep up with yield growth,” according to Ruikka of PRX. “Maintaining our markets and working constantly to assure incremental growth in corn use is therefore critical.”

The corn team reviewed ethanol production, demand and volume obligation scenarios under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Several key components of a successful strategy for corn were discussed, including:
• Growing ethanol consumption in the domestic market through expanded use of higher ethanol blends.
• Expanding relationships and communication with automakers as older vehicles in the nation’s auto fleet are replaced.
• Maintaining an up-to-date strategy that reflects the rapid change in the auto and fuel industry.
• Assuring a united approach with consistent messaging from corn farmers and other ethanol supporters.
• Growth of ethanol exports as nations work to meet their commitments to reducing Green House Gas emissions to address climate change.

Source: NCGA

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