Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman will preview at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas before it airs worldwide on Discovery Channel in August. Based on a book by the same name, the Discovery Impact film weaves together the stories of a Montana rancher, two Kansas farmers and a handful of Gulf fishermen who feed the world while stewarding the land and water they work. “The men and women profiled in the book and film work tirelessly to protect America’s natural resources, make their operations more productive and resilient and leave a legacy for their children.
The Trump administration’s immigration rhetoric and proposals potentially pose a crippling blow to the state’s agriculture industry and overall economy, agriculture leaders said. “The economic vitality of rural Idaho stands on the shoulders of foreign-born laborers,” said Bob Naerebout, executive director of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, which estimates those workers make up more than 85 percent of the state’s 8,300 dairy employees. Naerebout and others at an Idaho Farm Bureau news conference Tuesday touted a new national study that gauges the economic impact of immigrants in each state. In its Idaho breakdown, New American Economy notes that Idaho’s immigrant population — around 103,000 — grew by 15.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, and that Hispanics, the state’s largest immigrant group, represent $1.1 billion in annual income and paid $84.6 million in taxes in 2014.
Dow Chemical (DOW.N) and DuPont (DD.N) are set to win EU antitrust approval for their $130 billion merger, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, one of three mega deals in the agrochemicals industry. The deal, which still needs approval from U.S. and other regulators, has faced intense scrutiny from the European Commission. Of particular concern is combining the two companies' agricultural businesses which sell seeds and crop protection chemicals, including insecticides and pesticides. The EU competition enforcer had expressed concerns about whether the merged company would still be incentivized to produce new herbicides and pesticides in the future. This month, DuPont offered to sell a portion of its crop protection business and related research and development, while Dow agreed to sell its acid copolymers and ionomers business to South Korea's SK Innovation if the merger goes ahead.
Imports of organic grains, particularly corn, from countries such as India, Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey surged in 2016 to meet the burgeoning U.S. demand for organic food products. Organic corn imports more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 and accounted for nearly one-half of the U.S. organic corn supply. The domestic shortfall for organic soybeans was even greater, with roughly 80 percent of soybeans supplying the U.S. organic market imported in 2016. Animal feed for organically raised dairy, beef, pork and poultry products, and ingredients used in organic consumer packaged goods are the two principal markets for organically produced grains. For U.S. farmers to satisfy this growing appetite for organic foods, analysts estimate between one and five million U.S. acres would have to be transitioned to organic production.
Washington marijuana growers want to take another step toward joining mainstream agriculture, though their presence may raise questions about taxes and labor law. Cannabis advocates are championing legislation to insert marijuana into the state’s right-to-farm law. The law bars new neighbors from claiming dust, odors and noise from an existing farm’s lawful operations are a nuisance. Outdoor marijuana farms in particular need protection from disgruntled neighbors, the advocates say.
There are many challenges to farming for a living: It's often grueling work that relies on unpredictable factors such as weather and global market prices. But one aspect that's often ignored is the cost of health care. A University of Vermont researcher found that nationally, most farmers cited health care costs as a top concern. Shoshanah Inwood is a rural sociologist at UVM. She has been studying the aging and shrinking farm population, and what components are needed to build a prosperous farm economy. Inwood says she hadn't thought about health care in particular as a factor until she conducted an unrelated survey in 2007 of farmers working the land in areas facing population growth and development pressures. The survey asked, "What are the issues affecting the future of your farm?"
The ongoing spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to take its toll in France and two Asian nations as new incarnations of the virus continue to pop up. In France, the agriculture ministry said all 600,000 ducks in a prime region for the production of foie gras will be culled
John Deere & Co. (DE) appears to have relied on “disciplined cost management” to plow through what has been considered the roughest period in the farming since the Depression. Friday, some analysts say they hope to see that the deep double-digit dips in revenues and profits, choked by low commodity prices and weak farm incomes, have slowed down.
Monsanto has been served with a second lawsuit over the off-label dicamba drift damage that occurred in 10 states in 2016. The new case, a class action suit filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri, has two farmers from that state as lead plaintiffs. The lawsuit was filed by Randles and Splittgerber, LLP, a Missouri-based legal firm that also sued Monsanto over dicamba drift in November 2016 on behalf of Bader Farms, a Missouri fruit and row-crop operation. Bev Randles, the attorney of record, said she expects hundreds of farmers to eventually join the class action lawsuit, which is open to any farmers who experienced damage from illegal dicamba drift in 2016 in the following 10 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Natalina Sents, a recent Iowa State graduate in ag business, has been crisscrossing the country as part of a yearlong project sharing farmers’ stories on a blog, whyifarm.com. The project, funded by Beck’s Hybrids seed. “I have talked to some very strong men, whose families have not seen them cry for a very long time, if ever,” she said. “They get emotional when you ask them what it means to have their children work next to them on the same soil.” Sents is hoping the public watches the videos and reads the blogs to gain a better understanding of farmers. “Farmers are motivated by something bigger than themselves, whether it’s carrying on the family legacy, their connection to the environment, or wanting to make a contribution to the world,” Sents said. “No one has ever told me they want to farm because it will make them rich and famous.”