Farm News and Views 1-29-19

Photo Courtesy of USDA ARS

Good morning. This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the January 29th edition of Farm News and Views.

The end of the government shutdown is a relief for the 800,000 federal workers who haven’t received a paycheck since the shutdown started on December 21st . At this stage, it is unknown how fast the USDA will get the normal programs back on track, but farmers and ranchers who’ve not been able to negotiate loans, sign up for government crop and conservations programs are ready to get to work on planing for the 2019 growing season. read more

January 22 Radio Script

Colorado Snow Tim McCabe
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Good morning! Welcome to the January 22 edition of Farm News and Views. This is Bob Bragg.

If the cold weather and snow is getting you down, keep in mind that the mountain snow bank is receiving some good deposits that we can withdraw this summer. And, remember, spring will be here in eight weeks! read more

Agricultural Trade, Politics or Reality?

During President Trump’s speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Convention in New Orleans on January 14th, he spent most of the time justifying the boarder wall, but he assured Farm Bureau members that trade negotiations were going to result in long term gain for farmers. “We’re doing trade deals that are going to get you so much business that you’re not even going to believe it. Your problem will be, what do we do? We need more acreage immediately! We need to plant!” Trump said. I noticed that the audience was silent after this remark, unlike the standing ovations that he got when listing accomplishments of tax reform, repeal of the EPA Waters of the U. S. rule, modifications to the estate tax, and passage of the farm bill.  read more

January 15 Radio Program Script

Healthy soil is more than sand silt and clay. It contains millions of microscopic microbes, thousand of beneficial nematodes and water and carbon absorbing organic material.
Photo by Peggy Greb Courtsey, of USDA

Good morning! This is Bob Bragg. Welcome to the January 15th edition of Farm News and Views.

According to a new Government Accountability Office report published last week, nearly two million College students who may be eligible for food assistance might not be enrolled in the program and it suggests that the USDA should help these students sign up for SNAP benefits. The study found that low-income college students who are potentially eligible for food stamps usually have at least one additional risk factor for food insecurity. This includes being a first-generation college student or they are single parents. The report also encourages college administrators to help students understand that the program is available to them. read more

Monarchs Meet 21st Century Ag

An article in the Michigan Farm News about the dramatic decline of Eastern Monarch butterflies in the U. S. got my attention recently. It detailed how the population of this iconic insect has fallen from an estimated 1 billion to maybe 80 million in less than three decades due to habitat loss. The point with this decline is that the key habitat for Monarchs is common milkweed, a plant that used to be found in abundance in fence rows, wood lands, pastures and other non-crop areas throughout the Midwest. Without milkweed, the Monarch is doomed. read more