USDA commits to help build next generation of farmers and ranchers

Posted November 12, 2015 at 10:20 am

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced a commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prioritize $5.6 billion over the next two years within USDA programs and services that serve new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Deputy Secretary Harden also announced a new, tailored web tool designed to connect burgeoning farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started.

“Today’s announcement is symbolic of the evolution of USDA’s efforts to better serve the next generation of farmers and ranchers. What began seven years ago with the recognition that the rapid aging of the American farmer was an emerging challenge, has transformed into a robust, transparent, tech-based strategy to recruit the farmers of the future,” said Harden. “No matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter your background, we want USDA to be the first

Read Full Story…

    FB Cut to the Chase

    by Stewart Truelsen

    Noma, one of the world’s best restaurants known for its new Nordic cuisine, will close at the end of next year and reopen on a different site in Copenhagen as an urban farm. Chef René Redzepi says he wants to grow all the produce on his menu. He’s nervous about the decision, and who wouldn’t be? Running a first-class restaurant is risky enough; running a farm is even riskier.

    One would think that with all the advancements in agriculture over the last half century surely

    Read Full Story…

    Antibiotics in livestock: changes coming

    Any person that has raised farm animals for all or a portion of the family income know of the importance of antibiotics in maintaining the health, well-being, and productivity of our animals.

    “However, like my grandpa used to say, ‘the times they are a changing’. We will continue to be able to use antibiotics to treat our sick animals, but there are going to be some changes,” said Randy Wiedmeier, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

    In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the Guide

    Read Full Story…

    Estimating soybean yield

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Arcola in Dade County and north of Willard in Greene County on Oct. 21.

    Soybean report

    In the fields scouted, Scheidt observed soybeans in full seed and beginning to turn color to full maturity stage. “Harvest soybeans at 13 percent moisture,” said Scheidt.

    To estimate soybean yield, sample at least eight areas in each field to have the most accuracy. Errors in yield estimate are likely to be 20 percent, so the

    Read Full Story…

    Entry deadline Oct. 10

    “Reputation cattle” is an often used term in the cattle business. But how do a producer’s cattle get a good reputation?

    “It is not easy, especially if you have a small cow herd and you’re fairly new to the area,” said Eldon Cole, livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension. “A reputation herd usually is one with over 150 to 200 breeding females. They sell in large lot sizes and may be a farm or ranch that’s been in the business for two or three generations and are probably branded.”

    Read Full Story…

    Farmers in 105 Missouri counties impacted by severe weather eligible for low-interest loans and other assistance

    Farmers in 105 Missouri counties that suffered losses from severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding from mid-May to late July are now eligible for low-interest loans and other federal assistance for those losses, Gov. Jay Nixon announced. That eligibility comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a natural disaster area designation on Aug. 18.

    “The scope of this declaration by USDA demonstrates how the severe weather most of Missouri experienced earlier this spring and summer hit farmers especially hard,” Gov. Nixon said.

    A disaster designation allows

    Read Full Story…

    Plant cover crops and scout for podworms in soybeans

    Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension, scouted fields near Arcola in Dade County and south of Lamar in Barton County on Aug. 12.

    Corn report

    Scheidt observed corn in the dent stage and various milk line stages. “Once corn reaches black layer, or physiological maturity, irrigation can be turned off,” said Scheidt.

    According to Mississippi State University Extension, potential kernel weight is only about 75 percent complete at the dent stage; irrigation is still needed at this stage to fill kernels.

    Read Full Story…

    Website has info for farmers affected by wet weather in 2015

    Too much rain this spring and summer has given Missouri farmers unprecedented challenges, say University of Missouri Extension agriculture specialists.

    In many parts of the state, wet fields have delayed or prevented corn and soybean planting. Farmers are looking at the prospect of reduced yields, stunted growth, and pest, weed and disease problems. Fruit and vegetable producers, gardeners and homeowners face similar concerns.

    An MU Extension task force has developed a website with information for farmers, ranchers, fruit and vegetable growers, gardeners, landowners and others affected by the

    Read Full Story…

    Wet spring makes plants vulnerable to drought

    It might sound weird, but all the rain we’ve had in Missouri has primed plants, trees and shrubs for drought damage.

    “Roots need oxygen to respire just like you and I need oxygen,” said David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

    “When it rains a lot, the pores in the soil fill with water and the roots become oxygen-deprived, at times to the point of death.”

    For most woody plants, including trees and shrubs, the deepest roots will succumb first and only

    Read Full Story…

    USDA to accept more Missouri farmland for wildlife habitat

    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Mark Cadle today announced that an additional 7,500 acres of agricultural land in Missouri is eligible for funding for wildlife habitat restoration.

    The initiative, known as State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), is part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally-funded voluntary program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In

    Read Full Story…