Agribusiness
USDA STUDY SHOWS CROPLAND DECREASING, PRODUCTIVITY INCREASING PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:54

INTRO:  Is the conversion of farm land to land for housing reducing land available for food and fiber production? A recently released USDA study addresses that issue. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:45)

 

THE AMOUNT OF CROP LAND IS DECREASING IN THE UNITED STATES DUE TO A VARIETY OF FACTORS. THAT’S ONE OF THE CONCLUSIONS FROM THE MAJOR LAND USES STUDY BY THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE. THE STUDY EXAMINED DATA ON LAND USE TRENDS FROM NINETEEN FORTY-FIVE TO TWO THOUSAND SEVEN.

 

Cynthia Nickerson, USDA ERS: We see productivity increases that are allowing farmers to grow more on less land over time and the reasons also vary by region. In some regions of the country where you have significant pressures to provide land for housing for example, you’ll see declines in crop land. In other regions of the country it could be for other competing demands for land.

 

THE STUDY ALSO SHOWED THAT THE NATION’S CROPLAND IS BECOMING MORE CONCENTRATED IN AN AREA COMPRISED OF IOWA, INDIANA, MISSOURI, OHIO, AND ILLINOIS.

 

Nickerson: In 2007 we estimated about twenty five percent of total cropland is located in these five states, up from twenty one percent in 1964. On the other hand in the northeast and the southeast we’ve seen a long-term decline in cropland uses, and that’s due primarily to two reasons, urban pressures and demands for land for housing and secondly because relative to other regions these regions don’t have as favorable conditions for growing crops or marketing them.

 

AND DESPITE THE GROWTH OF MANY CITIES AND MORE HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS, THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE U-S IS STILL RURAL.

 

Nickerson: The land in urban areas plus this rural residential land outside of urban areas still represents a very small portion of the total U.S. land base. About seven percent.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO E-R-S DOT U-S-D-A DOT GOV. I’M BOB ELLISON FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

 
SECRETARY VILSACK SEES CONTINUED STRONG FARM ECONOMY AND NEW OPPORTUNITIES PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Monday, 27 February 2012 15:48

INTRO:  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum that a good farm economy could be further bolstered with help from Congress. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (2:14)

 

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY TOM VILSACK SAID TWENTY-TWELVE SHOULD BE ANOTHER GOOD YEAR FOR THE NATION’S FARM ECONOMY. SPEAKING TO THE ANNUAL AGRICULTURAL OUTLOOK FORUM HELD NEAR WASHINGTON D-C, VILSACK SAID THAT STRONG AG EXPORTS SHOULD BOOST THE FARM ECONOMY.

 

Tom Vilsack, Agriuclture Secretary: Strong trade opportunities bolstered by the passage of three free trade agreements last year, combined with Russia’s possible inclusion in the W-T-O, recent China purchase announcements and discussions of a trans-pacific trade partnership make us confident of having another strong year in trade. At the same time our domestic markets are expected to expand as well, with an improving economy, continued population of popular local and regional food systems and the development and the expansion of the bio-based products industry.

 

AND VILSACK SAID CONGRESS COULD HELP THE BIO-BASED PRODUCTS INDUSTRY WITH ATTENTION IN THE NEXT FARM BILL.

 

Vilsack: With the emergence of new ways to use crops, grasses, woody biomass and livestock waste to produce chemicals, polymers and fibers in thousands of biobased companies across rural America you can understand why I’m excited about the future of American agriculture and of rural America. Now as Congress considers the next farm bill efforts should be placed on programs and strategies to help this bio-economy take hold.

 

AND ALSO ON THE NEXT FARM BILL, VILSACK CALLED ON CONGRESS TO CONSIDER U-S AGRICULTURE’S LONG-TERM VIABILITY.

 

Vilsack: To attract and retain the next generation of farmers, we need to be far more creative in the crafting of this farm bill than we’ve been in past farm bills. We must make a commitment to the next generation of farmers and we must make that commitment as important to the nation’s future as any other commitment we make to the future generations of scientists, engineers or teachers because after all nobody can do their job very well without food.

 
Francis and Susan Thicke honored as 2012 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Greg Leaf   
Friday, 24 February 2012 14:40
La Crosse, WI – The 2012 Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Organic Farmer of the Year honorees are Francis and Susan Thicke, owners and operators of Radiance Dairy in Fairfield, IA.

Since 2003, the annual MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year Award has been presented to an outstanding organic farmer or farm family to recognize those who practice outstanding land stewardship, innovation and outreach. This honor is commemorated during the annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, which is the largest organic farming conference in the country. Held February 23-25, 2012, the Organic Farming Conference is in its 23rd year.

Francis and Susan Thicke will share with conference attendees their successful philosophies and strategies on the evening of Thursday, February 23. The Organic Farmer of the Year award will be officially presented to the Thickes at 10:30 am Friday, February 24.

Francis and Susan purchased their land in 1996, taking on the challenge of healing a worn out and heavily eroded row crop farm. Intense management over many years has resulted in productive land and continually improving soils.

Francis recommends that farmers “listen to your inner agronomist, not be so tied to pre-conceived notions, and be more fluid” in making management decisions.

Using sound science and their intuition of what is right for both land and animals, the Thickes’ farming style is fun and functional. The natural world and its numerous ecological systems are a continuous source of inspiration and learning for them.

Radiance Dairy is in a location well suited for growing grass and raising cattle. The Thickes maximize their grazing by stockpiling grass, with cows out on pasture April through December.

A crop rotation including hay and small grains minimizes weed pressure, and the Thickes sometimes need only to cultivate once per season to keep their soybean crop clean. Diverse plantings in and near pastures are designed for conservation, including windbreaks of fruiting trees and shrubs for wildlife habitat.

The Thickes serve as the “community dairy” of this Southeastern Iowa college town, marketing the production of their 80-cow organic Jersey herd within four miles of the farm.

Value-added products are key to the farm’s profitability.  Radiance Dairy organic products include non-homogenized milk, yogurt, several cheeses, and soft-serve ice cream mix for restaurants.

By educating others through example, teaching at events and participating in political activities, Francis and Susan Thicke help to build regional and national public support of organic agriculture.

MOSES is a non-profit organization working to promote sustainable and organic agriculture through trainings, workshops, educational initiatives, and by providing free resources to farmers striving to produce high-quality, healthful food using organic and sustainable techniques.

 
Lawlor honored with lifetime achievement award PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Janelle Keeffer   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:47

Christine (Chris) Lawlor-White was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Association at their recent three-day annual conference held at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. More than 250 growers, vintners, and enthusiasts from all across Illinois gathered to learn new techniques from experts from as far as Texas and California. The event culminated with a six-course gourmet food and wine pairing dinner and awards ceremony.

Lawlor-White, winemaker and co-owner at Galena Cellars Vineyard & Winery, received her formal degree in enology and viticulture from Fresno State University. She graduated in 1976 as one of the first women in the United States to earn a degree in enology.  She opened her first winery in McGregor, Iowa, in 1976 where she produced 500 gallons of Cherry Wine. Two years later, she moved to Lacrosse, Wisconsin, expanding her operations. In 1985, she found her home in Galena, Illinois and opened Galena Cellars with her parents and brother, Scott.

Chris is currently responsible for crafting more than 40 varieties and 60,000 gallons of wine annually. She is an expert in not only the science of winemaking but also the art of blending varietals to make distinctive wines. One of her greatest contributions to Illinois Wine Industry is her role in promoting the quality and acceptance of Illinois Wine in the state and nationally. She was honored three times as IGGVA’s “Winemaker of the Year”—in 2001, 2006 and 2007.

The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, established in 1992, is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the viticulture and enology interests of Illinois through information exchange and cooperation among Illinois grape producers and vintners.  The Illinois wine industry has exploded in recent years, growing from just 12 wineries in 1997 to more than 90 today. During this time, the acreage devoted to grape production has grown at a tremendous rate, and today Illinois is consistently among the top 12 wine-producing states.  Today the Illinois wine industry creates a direct economic impact of more than $319 million annually. The wineries that span Illinois have also brought with them a host of charming bed and breakfasts and local craft businesses. The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association predicts continued growth in the coming years as more visitors discover the genuine culture of Illinois Wine Country.

Galena Cellars Vineyard, in rural Galena, Illinois, is home to 22 different specialty grapes, many of which are hybrids developed by universities throughout the country in an effort to create a vine and grape with the hardiness needed to grow in this region. The vineyard is open to the public April through November for tours, tastings and special events. Galena Cellars also offers tasting rooms, wine patios and gift shops in downtown Galena and Geneva, Illinois.

 

#   #   #

 
USB Sets Sights On Ways to Provide More Profit Opportunities For U.S. Soybean Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 09:32
EVENT
USB SETS SIGHTS ON WAYS TO PROVIDE MORE PROFIT OPPORTUNITIES FOR U.S. SOYBEAN FARMERS

The United Soybean Board (USB) will hold its next meeting Feb. 21–24 in Biloxi, Miss., to measure progress on soy-checkoff-funded efforts to increase demand for U.S. soy and strategize on new ones that can help keep U.S. soybean farmers profitable. The 69 farmer-directors have four objectives for the U.S. soy research and promotion program:  increase the value of U.S. soybean meal and oil; ensure U.S. soybean farmers have the freedom and transportation infrastructure to operate; and meet the changing needs of U.S. soy customers.

USB welcomes all members of the media to attend the open sessions, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Feb. 21. A copy of the full meeting agenda is available upon request.
DATES
Feb. 21-24, 2012, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Central
LOCATION Beau Rivage
875 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, MS 39530

If you would like to preschedule an interview or cannot attend and would like to schedule a phone interview, please call Erin Hamm at (888) 235-4332 or e-mail your request to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
ON-SITE CONTACT
Erin Hamm with USB Communications, (314) 412-6982
###

 
<< Start < Prev 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 Next > End >>

Page 137 of 180