Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Reading Picks for this Week Focus on Economics of Over-Production of Agricultural Crops

Painted Lady Butterfly in our home garden Sept. 30, 2017. The fall migration
of painted ladies has been impressive on the front range of Colorado these past few weeks.

This Tuesday news thread is a weekly feature here at Big Picture Agriculture.
  1. Special Report: Drowning in grain - How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut | Reuters
  2. Some farmers loaded up on easy credit when grain prices were high - and kept borrowing after they crashed. Now debt and delinquencies are rising fast, raising fears of broader turmoil in U.S. agriculture. | Reuters
  3. Comment: I'm perplexed that this otherwise-good article never once mentions corn ethanol policy in its discussion of the corn economy and factors which led to our current oversupply.
  4. Technological innovations have increased corn yields (Chart) | USDA
  5. USDA: Old-Crop Corn Stocks Swell to 30-Year Record | DTN
  6. IGC ups world grains harvest to second largest on record | Agrimoney
  7. USGC plans to look for opportunities for US ethanol exports in Africa | Biofuels News
  8. More than 120 members of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports are urging leaders of the House Committee on Agriculture to increase funding for USDA export programs in the new farm bill to generate additional demand for U.S. farm products in an increasingly competitive global market. | US Agnet
  9. The Outlook for US Crop Farming | Rabobank
  10. Quote: "To ensure economic resilience and sustainability in such an environment, farmers will need to consider consolidation, vertical integration, and other tactical strategies to achieve greater economies of scale and scope, become more efficient, and capture margin that is given away to grain traders and merchandisers."
  11. Planting sideways | by Art Cullen Storm Lake Times
  12. Quote: "But the Agriculture Department and the Farm Bureau decided long ago that a mandatory acreage set-aside is a fairly Communist idea because it denies Monsanto (in which Farm Bureau is heavily invested) acres to which they otherwise could apply Roundup. Our aim is to feed the world with ever-increasing yields built on a Wall Street foundation."
  13. South Africa's record 2017 maize crop seen double last year's | Reuters
  14. Iowa has 7.3 times more pigs than people and is in dire need of regulations which are lacking. | Des Moines Register
  15. Quote: "All of this leaves Iowa totally unprepared for an influx of more hogs."
  16. Chinese ag scientist receives Norman Borlaug award; Zhenling Cui works with farmers to improve nitrogen efficiency, raise yields and reduce pollution. | Delta Farm Press
  17. Technology increases milk yields by 9 percent | Phys.org
  18. Trump's pick of Nebraskan, two Iowans for top USDA posts seen as plus for Midwest | Omaha World-Herald
  19. Corn and soybeans are supplanting wheat as the crop of choice among South Dakota farmers because of higher profitability. | US News
  20. Iowa farmers make record number of pesticide misuse claims | DesMoines Register
  21. Tyson Poultry fined $2 million for criminal clean water violations in Missouri | Kansas City Star
  22. One of the biggest threats to U.S. organic farming, those in the industry say, comes from products labeled “organic” but aren’t the real deal. | Wisconsin State Farmer
  23. 'People are being duped' at farmers markets | CBC Canada
  24. USDA closes investigation into a massive organic farm in Colorado — but what did it check? The closure of the case was blasted by the watchdog group that filed the official complaint who have long criticized the USDA for lax enforcement of organic standards. | Denver Post
  25. USDA Fails to monitor foreign owners of farmland | Successful Farming
  26. China now owns 10 times the amount of Australian land it did last year | Canberra Times
  27. Consolidation, Concentration, and Competition in the Food System PDF | Kansas City Fed
  28. Concentration and Consolidation in the U.S. Food Supply Chain: The Latest Evidence and Implications for Consumers, Farmers, and Policymakers PDF | Kansas City Fed
  29. Drivers of Consolidation and Structural Change in Production Agriculture PDF | Kansas City Fed
  30. The Big Problem With Shipping to Small Towns; Online retailers are going the extra mile to serve rural America. | Racked
  31. John Deere drives into San Francisco looking for farm-tech engineers | SanFrancisco Chronicle
  32. Greenhouses are taking off in Afghanistan | TOLO News
  33. So far adding microbial fungi to soils shows mixed crop results and the possibility of invasive fungi damage is also not yet known | Phys.org
  34. Why Your Orange Juice Might Be From Brazil: Florida’s Trees Are Dying - The state’s citrus industry, beset by a disease killing off groves plus hurricanes and international competition, is banking on producing a genetically engineered orange years away from potential sale | WSJ
  35. A Field Farmed Only by Drones | New Yorker
  36. Svalbard Global Seed Vault: Cary Fowler's Vanity Project and the Greatest Scam Since the Dawn of Agriculture | From Filmers to Farmers
  37. Comment: This is very, very lengthy, but quite an interesting story. In it, the author used a photo I took of Kent Whealy at that meeting at the Land Institute near Salina, Kansas, the only one available on the web. ;-) Also, Whealy handed out written copies of his speech, which was also lengthy and I got Kent's permission to put it on the web in 2010. People didn't know what to make of the presentation, at the time.
  38. Prairie strips: A viable conservation practice; Iowa State University Extension offers five publications about the practice for free. | Wallace's Farmer
  39. Post office workers grow vegetables, breed chickens on Paris rooftop "farm" | Reuters
  40. Genetically-modified wheat used to make coeliac-friendly bread | New Scientist
  41. Treasure trove of UK photographs shows rare glimpse of 19th century farm life | Farming UK

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