morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the August 6th edition
of Farm News and Views.
of the Chinese yuan sent financial markets lower yesterday, and farm commodity
markets were also rattled. Futures market
prices for grains and livestock continue to be churned by trade war uncertainty.
morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the July 23rd
edition of Farm News and Views.
increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is often blamed
for a changing climate around the globe. Many scientists believe that
combustion of fossil fuels and the decline of forests are factors in
the increase of CO2 levels by 100 parts per million since 1950. But
farming practices that have resulted in depleted organic material in
crop fields are also sited as a factor for this spike in CO2. Soil
scientists have recorded from a 20 to 50% reduction of carbon in
soils that have been tilled for decades versus soils that have been
undisturbed. Additional carbon is lost when wind and water erosion
carry soils particles off of fields. So soil scientists have
concluded that carbon sequestration in farm fields and grazing lands
can reduce and even reverse the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Recently, several companies are ramping up to encourage farmers and
ranchers to participate in practices that will result in increasing
soil organic matter in their fields, using a
marketplace developed around CO2 mitigation that enables CO2-emitting
industries to purchase carbon credits from businesses engaged in
offsetting activities. For
example, Boston-based Indigo Agriculture recently unveiled its latest
project, the Terraton
Initiative, which intends to sequester 1 trillion tons of carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere by providing momentary incentives to
farmers and ranchers who adopt regenerative agriculture practices.
The company contends that if farmers increase the level
of carbon in their soils by an average of 0.5% globally, it
could reverse the
1-trillion-ton increase in atmospheric carbon since the Industrial
Revolution. Some of the practices that Indigo encourages
farmers to adopt
include no-till crop
rotation, reducing reliance on chemical and synthetic fertilizers and
pesticides, and incorporating livestock. The
Sustainability Exchange is another organization that’s
attempting to enroll Montana ranchers in a program that will pay them
to use a carefully
managed, rotational grazing program
that will qualify for
the carbon credit market. Rotational
grazing calls for moving livestock based on utilization of forage
over a short period of time by intensive grazing, then moving the
herd to a new section of range or pasture that has not been grazed
until it has full recovered from previous grazing passes.
morning. This is Bob Bragg with the July 16th edition of
Farm News & Views.
in the mid section of our country continue to be affected by too much
water this growing season. Although soils have started to dry out in
some fields in the Corn Belt they may soon be getting a lot wetter,
since Tropical Depression Barry is following the Mississippi River
Valley northward, dropping precipitation on fields that have received
way too much rain already. Before it dies out, it’s likely to have
affected 12 states, dumping from one to more than three inches of
rainfall over the next couple of days according to the National
Weather Service. But then, as the storms passes, the areas in
Barry’s wake are expected to suffer from a “widespread” heat
wave starting later this week.
Good morning. Welcome to the July 9th edition of Farm News and Views.
You may have noticed bees being…Well, busy as bees this spring and early summer tending to flowers in gardens, on fruit trees and even on weeds. Bees help to pollinate a third of the crops we eat, including almonds, apples, avocados and grapes, but bee populations have steadily declined since 2006. However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) won’t collect quarterly data this July for the annual Honey Bee Colonies report, citing budget constraints. This report has allowed the USDA, beekeepers, and other interested parties to compare quarterly losses, additions, and movements and to analyze the data on a state-by-state basis. read more
morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the July 2nd
edition of Farm News & Views.
the past three months, I’ve talked about problems that farmers in
the Midwest have had this spring getting their crops planted. On
some farms, growers reported that they were two months late getting
corn and soybean seeds into the ground. I was able to see he good
the bad and the ugly of crop progress last week, during a road trip
making roughly a 400 mile circle around central Illinois and Indiana.
Farmers used to say that if the corn was knee high by the fourth of
July, they could expect a good crop. Although with modern hybrid
corn varieties, corn plants are usually four or five feet tall by
this time of the growing season. B observed that in many fields,
corn was four to eight inches tall, and soybeans plants had just
emerged from the soil. Farmers and farm managers I talked with told
me that wet soil this year is only part of the problem with crops
being so far behind in growth. Cool temperatures and cloudy days
thus far have put a damper on plant growth even for fields that were
planted early. Corn plants in many fields are pale yellow, rather
than dark green, indicating that wet soils are inhibiting the uptake
of nitrogen. Farmers hope that they’ll get plenty of sunshine and
warm days to speed up plant growth for the rest of the summer, and
hope that frost comes late this fall. While Midwest farmers have
faced unprecedented challenges this year, farmers I talked to are
still positive about their chances for a good year.
morning! This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the June 25th
edition of Farm News and Views.
Friday, we celebrated the summer solstice, then, some of us in
southwest Colorado had to cover our garden plants to protect them
from frost Saturday night into Sunday morning. The National Weather
Service recorded temperature near to or below freezing in the
Montezuma Valley during the early morning hours on Sunday. Higher
elevations escaped with temperatures in the mid 30’s to low 40’s,
and there are no reports of crops fields being harmed by the low
Good morning! This is Bob
Bragg. Welcome to the June 18th edition of Farm News and
For the past several weeks
I’ve reported about problems that farmers are having planting crops
in the Midwest, but weather has also been affecting farmers in
Colorado. Last week, in the San Luis Valley, hail caused light
damage to barley fields, Fall potato emergence is still behind the
average, and some freeze damage was noted in alfalfa fields due to
below freezing overnight temperatures . Although hay harvest is going
well in southwest Colorado, it’s progressing slowly in much of the
rest of the state due to persistent rain showers. A downside to the
good soil moisture this spring is that growing conditions are ideal
for weeds. Reports are coming in about robust stands of invasive
cheat grass, also known as downy brome grass, that are causing
concerns about fire danger later in the summer when this highly
flammable plant dries out.
Good morning! This is Bob
Bragg. Welcome to the June 11th Edition of Farm News and
Delphinium species plants
have showy purple flowers and are often planted in flower gardens,
but this common wild flower, known as Larkspur is deadly if it’s
consumed in quantity by cattle and sheep. According to the Gallop
Independent Newspaper, ranchers in northwestern New Mexico, near
Shiprock, suspect that Larkspur is responsible for the death of a
dozen or more cattle. The plant is growing in abundance on grazing
lands in the area because of the unusually wet weather this spring.
Larkspur is often a problem for livestock producers who move sheep
and cattle to mountain ranges during late June. If cool temperatures
at higher elevations favor Larkspur growth over grass and other range
plants, livestock may graze larkspur that is flowering or developing
seed pods, which is Larkspur’s most poisonous stage.
Good morning! This is Bob
Bragg with the June 4th edition of Farm News and Views.
I hate to sound like the
proverbial broken record, but the top ag news today…You guessed it
weather and trade or maybe trade and weather.
Soggy fields are still
keeping many farmers out to their fields in the Midwest, but weather
forecasts are calling for rains to let up later this week in the
Corn Belt. The U.S. corn planting in 2019, is the slowest pace in
USDA records dating back to 1980. As of May 26, only 58% of the
country’s estimated 92.8 million corn acres have been planted. The
five-year average for this time off year is 90%. Soybean planting is
only at 29% complete on 84.6 million acres allocated to this crop,
with he five-year average for late May of 66% planted.read more
Good morning. This is Bob
Bragg. Welcome to the May 28th edition of Farm News and
Weather in much of the Corn Belt and beyond, is top of the news this morning. Farmers from Michigan to Ohio and west into Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are reporting that their fields are to wet to plant, and rain continues to fall. Rivers in Illinois and Iowa are flooding adjacent farm land, and the Mississippi Levee Board is reporting that more than a half million acres of land in the Mississippi Delta has been covered by backwater floods. Flooding is also occurring along the Missouri river and its tributaries. Many farmers are predicting that much of the flooded land in the Midwest won’t be farmed this year. read more