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The Latest from AgMag

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Faster is better, right? So is it a good thing that it now takes only 59 days for an Iowa lake to undergo a change that once took 631 days? No. Not when we’re talking about how long it takes for a lake to fill up with mud.

Key Issues: 
Friday, January 18, 2013

In a recently posted blog titled Something’s Gotta Give, Marcia Zarley Taylor proves once again that she is one of the most cogent observers of crop insurance. Taylor is executive editor of the agriculture website DTN, and her post warns farmers that the once-sleepy crop insurance program is taking center stage as Congress starts over on the farm bill. She quickly explains why.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

I need to start by publicly apologizing for not engaging in the debate over genetically engineered crops, technically, genetically modified organisms or GMOs, until two years ago.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Ethanol related stories for January 5-11, 2013

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Friday, December 21, 2012

House Speaker John Boehner made the right choice when he refused to include a trillion-dollar farm bill in legislation designed to avert the “fiscal cliff.”

Friday, December 21, 2012

Events that used to be called “acts of God” – but that we now realize are increasingly driven by human activity – became the most important environmental news stories of 2012 in the opinion of Environmental Working Group’s staff of scientists, analysts, lawyers, organizers and others. Topping their list was the devastating and ongoing drought that beset much of the United States. As a group, climate-related events – including superstorm Sandy – garnered more votes than any other topic.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

EWG’s Scott Faber joined representatives of several fiscally conservative organizations in calling on Congress not to slip a full farm bill reauthorization into any legislative package they cobble together to avoid the imminent “fiscal cliff.”

Monday, December 10, 2012

Congressional leaders in search of a compromise to avoid plunging off the “fiscal cliff” are under growing pressure from the agriculture subsidy lobby and its friends in Congress to attach a subsidy-laden farm bill to legislation ostensibly designed to straighten out the nation’s finances.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Congressional leaders in search of a compromise to avert the “fiscal cliff” are under growing pressure from advocates for subsidized agriculture to attach a $1 trillion farm bill to legislation ostensibly designed to straighten out the nation’s finances.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A New York Times headline this month (Nov, 13) read: “The Problem is Clear: The Water is Filthy.” It should have read: “The Problem is Clear: Agriculture Granted the Right to Make the Water Filthy.”

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It’s a new day for those who have felt poorly served by California’s chief food and agriculture agency.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Democrats in Iowa tried hard to turn Congress’ failure to pass a federal farm bill into a political liability for their Republican opponents. It didn’t work.

Friday, November 16, 2012

With the elections finally behind us, Congress has returned to Washington to try to wrap up a slew of unfinished business. Among other things, lawmakers are grappling with how to revive the expired farm bill, while at the same time they must somehow address the looming “fiscal cliff” of higher taxes and crippling budget cuts that could drive the economy back into recession.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The following op-ed appeared in the Des Moines Register on Monday, November 12, 2012.

It’s too late for Congress to pass a good farm bill this year. The coming lame duck session of the 112th Congress will have its hands full dealing with the “fiscal cliff” and should focus on issues that simply cannot wait.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The opening episode of the 4-hour epic that premieres on PBS on November 18 goes right to the cause of the problem.  In a short time, farmers converted an area twice the size of New Jersey and centering in the Oklahoma Panhandle from native grassland to wheat fields.  They did so because of a concerted policy in the 1920’s to industrialize agriculture and to “turn farming into a factory.” But the wind-swept prairie that dominated the region was unsuited for growing much, aside from drought- resistant grasses. Once farmers turned over the firm soil, they set the stage for a monumental disaster.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

With high crop prices, high land prices and guaranteed business income thanks to federal crop insurance, farm businesses are doing very well, thank you very much. The Bloomberg news service reports that during this Great Recession, farm earnings in Iowa and across the U.S. increased eight times faster than non-farm wages from 2008 to 2011. Actually, farm businesses have been doing nicely even longer than that. Farm household income has exceeded average household income every year since 1996.

Monday, November 12, 2012

With only five legislative weeks left, Congress must vote to extend the farm bill, but it must do it in a way that reflects the nation’s spending priorities, supports family farmers and protects the environment.

Friday, November 9, 2012

California dairymen are being regularly referred to suicide hotlines as many go broke from rising feed costs, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If there was one message from yesterday’s voting, it’s that taxpayers – regardless of party – are worried about the nation’s economy and finances.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

By now, every American is familiar with Mitt Romney’s suggestion that 47 percent of Americans are “victims” who are “dependent” on government assistance.