Ag Roundup: Your Essential Weekend Reading
HOW WILL A TRUMP PRESIDENCY IMPACT AG?
AgWeb’s Anna-Lisa Laca dives into the specifics of how Trump’s 100 Day plan would impact farmers — from trade policies to immigration to regulation and beyond. Laca asks:
“Farmers across the agriculture industry have felt overburdened by regulation for years. Will Trump’s plan ease some of this pain?”
We know you have opinions — share them in the comments section.
Meanwhile, Helen Bottemiller Evich at Politico does a deep dive on what might happen to the farm bill under Trump, who could be appointed as the new Secretary of Agriculture, and other ag-related outcomes of Tuesday’s election.
“A Trump-Mike Pence administration intends to play an active role in crafting the 2018 farm bill, the campaign said in the Farm Bureau survey. And based on their relatively mainstream 70-member agriculture advisory council, they’re likely to stick to their support of safety net programs like crop insurance.”
NEW USDA STUDY REVEALS HOW FARMERS USE PRECISION AG
Here’s a clue: they don’t! A new study from the USDA found that only about one quarter of operations surveyed use machine data to create yield maps.
Capital Press offers a breakdown of the study:
“Some farmers may download the data to get a basic sense of their yields without incorporating it into a map, but others may just ignore it altogether, he said.”
And yet, the potential for the precision ag and big data market in agriculture is in its very early stages. Frost & Sullivan predicts that especially in Australia, the precision ag market is expected ot increase significantly over the next 5 years.
“Big Data and artificial intelligence will play an important role in the precision agriculture landscape, incorporating intelligent systems such as drones and driverless tractors. The farm equipment, livestock, and crop management sectors will be amongst the first to adopt precision agriculture solutions in Australia.”
What’s your take? Are farmers not using these tools because they don’t know they exist? Because they’re not effective? Is it just too early to tell?
HOW MUCH MONEY ARE WE LEAVING IN THE GROUND?
Healthy soil can be exceptionally profitable, a report from The Nature Conservancy and General Mills found last week.
“Healthy soil practices applied across half of the U.S. row crops would reduce 344 million pounds of nutrient loss to the environment, eliminate 116 million metric tons of soil erosion, and create 3.6 million acre-feet of available water capacity in cropland soils”
THE DROUGHT ISN’T JUST A CALIFORNIA PROBLEM
The drought in California has made headlines, but Alabama, George, South Carolina and North Carolina are feeling it too. From wildfires to dramatically decreased yields, Matt Pearce LA Times surfaces the hardships the deep South is experiencing as a result of record low rainfall. For one Alabama farmer:
“This year’s corn yields have fallen to a third of what they’ve gotten accustomed to, while soybean yields dropped by half. Now, with the green grass drying up, the biggest problem is how to feed their cattle.”
WHAT ARE WE IN FOR IN 2017?
Farm Industry News lays out predictions for challenges and opportunities in the coming year. Long story short, it will be a hard year, but opportunities still exist. One piece that stood out to us in particular is that farmers are still expected to buy next-gen precision ag tools, but:
“A challenge: data privacy and ownership. ‘Companies are saying all the right things in terms of making sure the data are owned by the farmers,” Wong says, “but I think farmers still are hesitant to trust that that is the case.’”
Are we missing any articles? Did you read something this week that stuck with you? Share your favorite reads with us on Twitter @dirtforfarmers.