Trade Gets A Boost

Kelly Marshall

Senate approval of Ambassador Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative gives President Trump a full cabinet.  Trade will be getting an additional boost, as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced that the USDA will soon have an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs to help with the administration’s international trade goals. “Food is a noble thing to trade. This nation has a …

Government, trade, USDA

Secretary Perdue Visits Iowa

Kelly Marshall

It was a sunny day in Iowa Friday for the visit of new Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue at Couser Cattle Company. The Secretary was welcomed by Bill, Nancy and Tim Couser, as well as Iowa Senators Joni Erst and Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Steve King. Looking comfortable in worn jeans, the new secretary bragged about the value of American …

Government, USDA

Perdue Answers Questions From NAFTA to Wildfires

Kelly Marshall

Yesterday newly confirmed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue spent his third day on the job visiting the USDA office in Kansas City, Missouri. He also addressed members of the press, answering questions on topics from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to wildfires. “I was a grain trader, and President Trump is a trader,” Perdue said when asked about …

Audio, Government, USDA, Video

Ag Groups Host Field Day for Government Officials

Kelly Marshall

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted a field day for officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs. Participants got to observe seed treatments, planting practices, equipment innovations and product demonstrations– all using the most cutting-edge technology available. …

AEM, Ag Group, ASTA, EPA, NCGA, USDA

Perdue Officially Confirmed as Secretary of Ag

Kelly Marshall

The U.S. Senate has formally confirmed the nomination of George Ervin “Sonny” Perdue III to serve as the 31st Secretary of Agriculture with a final vote of 87 to 11. Perdue is an agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator, and former governor of Georgia.  He grew up working on his family farm in central Georgia, making him the fourth agriculture secretary who …

Audio, Government, USDA

Wet Weather Sends Planters to the Shed

Kelly Marshall

It’s discouraging when the writer in the family is busier than the farmer, but if your planter was in the shed this week take solace– so was ours.  And since misery loves company, here’s the latest USDA report showing national corn planting progress falling behind last year and the five year average. Texans are doing well, with more than 60 percent planted and …

Corn, Cotton, Planting, Sorghum, Soybeans, USDA

#Plant17 is Well Underway

Kelly Marshall

And so it begins. The USDA report says #Plant17 is officially underway with three percent of corn planted nationwide as of April 9.  That’s one point down from last year, but right on trend with the five year average. Texas, where National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Wesley Spurlock farms, is well ahead of both last year and the five year …

Planting, USDA

U.S. Farmers Expected to Plant Record-High Soybeans

Kelly Marshall

Production surveys from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) show farmers across the nation are planning on approximately 89.5 million acres of soybeans this growing season. That’s seven percent more than last year’s record high of 83.4 million acres. The largest increase is expected in Kansas, with just under a million acres in increase. Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North …

Corn, Planting, Soybeans, USDA, wheat

USDA Offers Renewal for Expiring CSP Contracts

Kelly Marshall

Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young has announced that the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering contract renewal sign-ups for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). NRCS made several updates to the program last fall to help producers evaluate the benefits of conservation options on their land. “The changes made to CSP are providing even greater opportunities for stewardship-minded …

Conservation, NRCS, USDA

Smartphone App Balances Conservation and Production

Kelly Marshall

The LandPKS suite of mobile apps provides specific information about soils to anyone with a smartphone, says USDA soil scientist Jeff Herrick. LandPKS, (Land-Potential Knowledge System) is made up of the LandInfo and LandCover modules, including cloud computing, digital soil-mapping data, and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to give information about the sustainable potential and future climate of a piece …

Apps, Conservation, Soil, USDA