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Cover crops and pest management

April 5, 2017

By Scott Stewart, University of Tennessee IPM Extension Specialist

There is growing discussion and interest in the use of cover crops, mostly commonly in soybeans but also in corn and cotton.

Some of the benefits seem pretty intuitive and include improved control of erosion and the buildup of organic matter. Another obvious benefit is NRCS programs which pay growers to plant specified cover crops.…

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Cotton acres predicted to rise

April 5, 2017

by Don Shurley, Cotton Economist/Professor Emeritus of Cotton Economics, University of Georgia

US cotton producers say they intend to plant 12.23 million acres of cotton this year–up 21.4% from last year. This number, released Tuesday, is higher than most pre-report expectations. The National Cotton Council survey-based estimate back in early February was 11.0 million acres.…

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Trump adviser: No more EPA-funded attacks on farmers

April 3, 2017

President Trump’s top agricultural adviser says the new administration won’t tolerate federal support for advocacy campaigns like What’s Upstream.

Ray Starling, special assistant to the president for agriculture, trade and food assistance, outlined the White House’s farm policy priorities in a speech March 21 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.…

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Beef Checkoff in crosshairs

April 3, 2017

an opinion by Steve Dittmer

Thinking big, at least for the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), means going after all commodity checkoffs, instead of just the beef checkoff, in order to get at their admitted real target, NCBA. Or as OCM put it in a news conference this week, “Terminating the NCBA gravy train.”

What is really sad is, in their efforts to paint a vivid woe-is-me picture, OCM can ensnare folks who ought to know better.…

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Palmer Amaranth adaptability

March 29, 2017

by Dr. Ramon Leon and Dr. Jay Ferrell, Extension Weed Specialists West Florida REC, Jay and Agronomy Department, University of Florida

Palmer amaranth, commonly referred to as Palmer pigweed, is perhaps the most problematic weed in the southern USA, especially in row-crop production. This weed can not only produce abundant seed allowing it to establish dense populations that can out-compete many crops, but also has evolved resistance to multiple herbicides, which has made its control even more difficult.…

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Technology means added grower responsibility

March 29, 2017

From a cotton farming standpoint, it may be more important now than ever to know your surroundings, said a pair of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists at Lubbock.

With today’s genetic weed-fighting seed technologies and new formulations of old active ingredients, there’s an almost bewildering array of parameters growers must follow to abide by label requirements and minimize risk of damaging their crops or those of others.…

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Praise for Perdue in Advance of his Confirmation Hearing

March 27, 2017

“Now more than any other, agriculture needs a champion at the highest level of government,” warned Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts during this week’s Farm Bill Summit.

Earlier in the day, Roberts’ counterpart in the House Agriculture Committee voiced similar concerns at the same event. Chairman Mike Conaway lamented that a secretary was not already in place to provide counsel to the administration on the budget proposal, having released a “conversation-starter” version that called for cutting agriculture by 21 percent.…

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Hearing Advisory: Next Week at the Agriculture Committee

March 27, 2017

House Committee on Agriculture advises the following committee schedule:
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – 10:00 a.m.
Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management – Public Hearing
RE: The Next Farm Bill: Commodity Policy Part I

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 – 2:00 p.m.
Subcommittee on Nutrition– Public Hearing
RE: The Next Farm Bill: The Future of SNAP

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – 10:00 a.m.…

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Be Wary of Inversions That Can Cause Herbicide Drift

March 22, 2017

By Kacey Birchmier

As herbicide applications are made during the 2017 growing season, a main concern will be the possibility of herbicide drift injuring sensitive crops.

The normal culprit of off-target movement during herbicide applications is thought to be excessive winds. However, the absence of wind can result in off-target chemical applications, as well.…

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TERP Explained

March 22, 2017

This Texas legislative session, a bill was filed in the Senate that challenges the role of ethanol in state-owned vehicles. The bill seeks to achieve this by modifying the Texas Emissions Reduction Program, known as TERP. As the Texas Grain Sorghum Association pushes back on this attempt to hinder the state’s ethanol industry, we thought it would be valuable to explain what TERP is and how it operates.…

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