United Nations “Expert” Has Some Explaining To Do

In Audio, Current News, International by Chuck

I don’t know what you think of the United Nations but I can tell you what I think of their “independent expert on the right to food” Jean Ziegler, which is not very much. The guy’s got some serious explaining to about some outrageous statements he made public. The big one is his claim that food crops for biofuels are …

Corn Powering The World Museum Exhibit

In Current News by Chuck

The Indiana State Museum will have a new exhibit in 2009 titled, “Corn: Powering the World.” Thanks to the heads up from contributing sponsor Case IH. The exhibit will showcase all things corn — demonstrating how this versatile crop feeds and fuels the world’s population. Opening at the Indianapolis museum in August 2009, the exhibit will continue through January 2010 …

Farm Bill Reaction

In Current News, Farm Bill by Cindy

Despite initial diplomatic words of praise, Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner does not seem to be very pleased overall with the Farm Bill out of the Senate Agriculture Committee this week. “I have to note the provisions that raise loan rates and target prices for half a dozen crops,” Conner said in a telephone press conference on Thursday afternoon. “This …

Dueling Senate Farm Bills

In Current News, Farm Bill by Cindy

The Senate Agriculture Committee finally completed work on its version of the 2007 Farm Bill about midday on Thursday. The bill was reported out of committee on a voice vote, despite the fact that one of the committee members intends to introduce his own version of a farm bill on the Senate floor. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) criticized the House …

Raising Midwestern Cane

In Current News, Ethanol, Research by Cindy

With all the cane that is being raised about corn ethanol, here is a potential solution that hopefully won’t fall on deaf ears. It could be called “earless corn” or “Midwestern sugarcane” – but it is really tropical maize, the type of corn typically grown in hot, humid regions. Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered that when it …

Corn Numbers Tell Story

In Current News, Ethanol, Food vs Fuel by Cindy

The latest reports from USDA provide some interesting perspective on corn, ethanol and the whole food to fuel issue. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s supply and demand forecast lowered its estimate of how much of this year’s corn harvest the ethanol industry would use by another 100 million bushels. It was the second straight month the forecast has …

Media Misses Point of NRC Report

In Current News, Environmental, Ethanol by Cindy

According to the Science Daily release on the National Research Council report “Water Implications of Biofuels Production in the United States” released today, “the committee that wrote the report examined policy options and identified opportunities for new agricultural techniques and technologies to help minimize effects of biofuel production on water resources.” This would be a positive thing, as noted in …

Trading Places

In Current News, Exports, General, Trade by Cindy

The majority of U.S. agricultural organizations are strongly in favor of free trade, whether it be global or bilateral. The “level playing field” phrase is most often used as the reason for that support. Exports are a significant part of the agricultural economy of our nation, and therefore of the economy as a whole. According to USDA, agricultural exports hit …

Transportation Conversation

In Current News, Transportation by Cindy

Corn growers took their concerns about transportation – both rail and river – to the Capitol this week. First of all, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Ron Litterer formally asked President George W. Bush to sign the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). Litterer said, “After years of work and months of extensive negotiations, Congress has delivered a WRDA …

Still No Farm Bill

In Current News, Farm Bill, General, Legislation by Cindy

Senate Agriculture Committee action on the 2007 Farm Bill was delayed again this week, with Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin citing “scheduling difficulties” as the reason for further postponing mark-up. The ag committee was waiting on the Senate Finance Committee to markup the Heartland, Habitat, Harvest and Horticulture Act of 2007 which will extend some tax incentives for renewable energy; …