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Farm and Food File Results

On the road to France, where buckets of butter and veal fill their stomachs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

When the lovely Catherine and I travel, we often follow a plan that is purposely vague. Sure, we know where we’re going, but the route we drive, fly or canoe to reach it often could be described as “north out of Des Moines” or “turn right at Amarillo.” This year’s big adventure, however, defied footloose: […]

Phosphorus market: Gravest, strategic U.S. issue you’ve never heard of

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Before anyone smiles too broadly about the grain prices, they might want to take a peek at fertilizer prices. If so, they’ll discover, as DTN reporter Russ Quinn recently did, the only price rising faster than either corn or wheat is fertilizer. “Six fertilizers have seen double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier,” […]

The days of buses, bullies and books

Thursday, September 23, 2010

By mid-September, most children west of the Ohio have a month of the new school year already on the books. That means some young scholar right now is discovering the beauty of the Pythagorean Theorem, trying to remember what “is” is in Spanish and wishing he or she didn’t have to get on that big, […]

Remember, people vote, cattle don’t

Thursday, September 9, 2010

During a sudsy session in a college pub nearly 40 years ago, a friend wryly observed that every person lacks one word in what he labeled their “personal vocabulary.” Looking my way, Charlie explained. “For example, Alan, your missing word is ‘height.’” Everyone laughed. Clever. “My missing word,” continued the extroverted friend, “is ‘modesty.’” We […]

Keep an eye on $40 billion potash pie

Thursday, September 2, 2010

American farmers hardly noticed when, in mid-August, news broke that Australian-based BHP Billiton was willing to pay nearly $40 billion for the world’s largest fertilizer producer, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, Inc. The disinterest was honest; after all, who was BHP Billiton and what did it want with a Canadian fertilizer firm in the steady, if […]

Ohio livestock growers caged by farm groups

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What was to be a clever, voter-sanctioned effort to fence out the animals-are-people-crowd in Ohio last year is, depending on your perspective, either a progressive way for farm and animal rights groups to work together toward humane livestock production or a total sell-out of livestock producers by Big Ag to the Humane Society of the […]

Lack of internal controls could present problems for cattle industry

Thursday, August 12, 2010

You know it’s gonna’ be a bad day when you open your e-mail and see that day’s New York Times’ sports your picture pleading over why your organization… well, here’s how the Aug. 2 Times explains it: “An influential cattle industry group misused money raised from ranchers and farmers for promoting beef sales and violated […]

It’s weaning time for packers

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A lot of bellowing and bawling was heard from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other in the late July heat of Washington, D.C. In fact, so much whining and wailing was heard that it was difficult to make out the usual voices of lobbyists, politicians and staffers. The new, sweaty chorus sounded more […]

Economists in the house? Run!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don’t’ look now, but Dr. Econ — that master of the malaprop, that tangled tiller of economic turnips, the clearest, coldest-eyed killer of the English language — just walked into the office of your faithful reporter and, trapped, I can only… Dr. Econ, how have you been?

New game, new rules in meat markets

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Watching Big Pork and Big Beef respond to proposed USDA rules to “clarify conduct that violates the P&S [Packers and Stockyards] Act” is like watching Wall Street bankers: They find it impossible to pull their hands out of your pockets long enough to pull themselves out of the mess they’ve made. That’s a good explanation […]


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