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Agriculture

Commodity Costs and Returns

Cost and return estimates are reported for the United States and major production regions for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, peanuts, oats, barley, milk, hogs, and cow-calf. The history of commodity cost and return estimates for the U.S. and regions is divided into three categories: Current, Recent, and Historical estimates. Cost-of Production Forecasts are also available for major U.S. field crops.

America’s Diverse Family Farms: 2017 Edition

This report provides an overview of U.S. farms, including the latest statistics on production, financial performance, and farm household characteristics by farm size categories. Among the findings are that 99 percent of U.S. farms are family farms, and they accounted for 90 percent of farm production in 2016.

Washington’s dairy farmers need NAFTA — and more

The Washington state dairy industry contributes nearly $4 billion a year to the state’s economy and provides more than 18,800 jobs. In fact, dairy is part of a booming food and agriculture sector that is creating more than 736,700 jobs and is providing a $69 billion economic stimulus to the state. But a U.S. withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other free-trade agreements puts this economic sector at risk. Nationwide, U.S. dairy companies employ nearly 1 million skilled individuals and generate more than $39 billion in direct wages.

As milk prices stall, Wisconsin dairy farmers disagree on how to turn market around

"There’s just a lot of dairy product on the marketplace and I don't see farmers cutting back very quickly, unless prices really go south and I don't expect that to happen," said Mark Stephenson, director of dairy policy analysis for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "So I just think that there’s more like this longer, slow bleed this time."If Wisconsin farmers want better prices, they need to tip the scales of supply and demand back into their favor.

Tax reform bills will affect Iowa’s farmers and ranchers

At Iowa Farmers Union’s annual convention earlier this month, if tax reform was raised, it was out of concern over who would benefit, and at what cost. IFU’s family farmer members had greater concern for low crop prices, increased corporate consolidation, and efforts to improve on-farm conservation practices. And their alternative priorities track with broader American sentiment, as the rest of America seems resigned to accept that current tax reform efforts just aren’t for them.

States sue Massachusetts over animal confinement law

Indiana and 12 other states are suing Massachusetts over its farm animal confinement law, which is set to take effect in 2022. The lawsuit, which was filed by the State of Indiana in Supreme Court of the United States, takes exception to the future law, which makes it illegal for farmers to keep sows in gestation crates, layer hens in cages, or calves in veal crates.

Forest resilience declines in face of wildfires, climate change

The forests you see today are not what you will see in the future. That's the overarching finding from a new study on the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests.Researchers analyzed data from nearly 1,500 sites in five states -- Colorado, Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, and Montana -- and measured more than 63,000 seedlings after 52 wildfires that burned over the past three decades.

Iowa GOP pushes for quick action on water quality bill that environmentalists call flawed

Republican leaders are pushing Iowa House members to get behind a $27 million water quality bill the state Senate passed last session, calling it the Legislature's most viable option for long-term, sustainable funding. "I feel pretty strongly that it’s a good bill. Nothing is perfect, but it's a good bill," said Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee chairman."I'd be delighted if we could pass what we have in the House and move on," he said.Gov.

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