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Ag News Roundup: September 2014

Rural and agricultural economic issues led the news in September, including impacts on farmers, families, communities and industries. Land values remain high, even though corn prices that drive much of this value are dropping due to record yields that are reducing prices and therefore farm income. In part due to this reduced income, the median farm income and the Rural Mainstreet Economic Index have dropped significantly, and farmers themselves are less confident. Read More


Ag News Roundup: August 2014

International and domestic politics targeted U.S. agriculture in August: Russia instituted sanctions restricting agricultural imports for a year, including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, milk and dairy products; closer to home, Missouri became the second state (after North Dakota) to define farming as a constitutional right, passing a “Right to Farm” amendment to the state constitution that is aimed to protect agricultural interests. The controversial amendment vote is undergoing a recount. Read More


Ag News Roundup: July 2014

Organically raised food was in the news in July, as a new U.K. study reported in the British Journal of Nutrition found evidence that organics are nutritionally superior to conventionally raised crops. Not surprisingly, the study is being challenged, with one major criticism being that it contains no original research, instead analyzing hundreds of previous studies. Regardless of any real or supposed nutritional benefits, organics are a growing food category, worth $26.7 billion in 2010. A July Washington Post article offered advice for consumers in deciding which categories of organic food are worth the typically higher price. Read More


Ag News Roundup: May 2014

The initial results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture revealed the continued growth in the number of Hispanic and Latino farmers and the continued aging of American farmers, who averaged 58.3 years of age at the time the Census was conducted. The documentary Farmland, which highlights the work and lives of five young farmers,was also released in May, to mixed but primarily favorable reviews. The ongoing drought also took center stage once again, with approximately half of the country in drought, in some areas considered worse than the 1940s Dust Bowl. Read More


Ag News Roundup: April 2014

Organic foods are going mainstream, with Wal-Mart allying with Wild Oats to offer organic foods at lower prices to its customers. The Wild Oats-labeled organics have raised some concerns for farmers, who wonder about sourcing for the giant corporation’s organic line. Pork was also in the news in April as the industry continues to respond to the spreading PEDV swine virus. Read More

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