Agribusiness

Trade

September 24 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

With all the noise coming out of Washington focusing on healthcare, cap and trade, and financial regulation, it is easy to forget about some other serious issues that need attention. This…

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Feed the People

September 10 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Almost every week, there is a new article, a new documentary, a new commentary that is critical of the way we farm. They don’t like “factory farms.” Not organic. They don’t like commercial…

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You’re Up and then Down

September 3 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Get the combine out. Get it ready to go. Harvest is just around the corner. We have work to do and we’re going to do it, but that doesn’t mean we are as confident as we might have been in…

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Trade Opportunities

July 16 2009

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the Renewable Fuels Association, Wal-Mart Stores, Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

How do we breathe some life into the agriculture economy? About 75 percent of what we produce is sold domestically. The other 25 percent is exported. Maybe we can grow the…

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Federal Crop Insurance

November 1 2006

When the next farm bill is written, everything will be in the spotlight. Some might say in the cross hairs for elimination. Federal Crop Insurance will not be an exception.

The federal government pays 60% of farmer premiums for their crop insurance. With a bad crop, insurance will pay a farmer as much as 95% of the income he would get from an average crop. If you are farming marginal land, that is a deal that is hard to refuse. The result -- farmers plant land that would be otherwise left…

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Farm Exports

November 14 2004

For years and years we have bragged about the surplus of farm exports over imports. In fact 20 years ago we exported twice as much food as we imported and helped to keep the trade deficit from getting any worse. Would you believe that in June and August of this year our farm trade surplus melted away? We'll have a surplus for the year --- However, it is likely that in 1 or 2 years farm sales will be in deficit.

It's not that our exports have collapsed. In fact, we are exporting 50% more…

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The War and Agriculture

April 8 2003

It's been a long time since we went into a planting season with more uncertainty than we face today. We have a war against terrorism, a war in Iraq, a soft economy and drought in many parts of this country. A budget deficit forcing Congress to cut spending -- maybe ours -- and farm prices continue to languish.

Where do we go from here? Is there any other way to go but up? First, I think the war will be a net plus for agriculture in both the Sh0l1 term and long term. Short term, President…

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Farming in 2003

January 6 2003

Closing out the books on 2002 and starting to focus on the New Year. What will it bring? Will the Congress cut our farm bill supports? Will the long sough after 2002 disaster relief that wasn't in the Christmas stocking yet appear? Will we suffer draught or floods or another chicken embargo? I guess if we knew all ofthese answers, we wouldn't have to work.

I realize some farming regions struggled with devastating drought last year. Still, I doubt that the congress will find very much…

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Food Safety

November 13 2001

Things are happening on the farm and food front. A furious and confusing farm bill debate rages in the Senate. A completed bill for the President to sign still seems unlikely this year. When will Congress complete the appropriations bill for the President to sign? That is one thing they have to finish before adjourning. I think they'll still be here working into December.

Trade promotion authority according to House Speaker Denny Hastert is coming to a vote. We have an ongoing debate…

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Best of Times, Worst of Times

September 26 2000

I pick up a big city newspaper and read the criticism of the generous support for farmers in this election year. Okay, I'll admit the support is generous. But to provide some balance to this evaluation of the situation, it might be worth taking inventory of other conditions working against the farmer.

Is your diesel fuel much more expensive? What about the LP gas drying your com? Just wait 'til you see the price tag for nitrogen fertilizer. The simple fact is the higher energy prices will…

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