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Farm and Food File Results

Readers respond to past columns

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Twice a year readers who write, telephone or send drone aircraft to my office take over this space to air their gripes, grievances and gratitude. As in the past, gracious letters outnumber the ones soaked in jalapeno sauce. Unlike the past, however, this year’s peppery correspondence contains record levels of heat. A mid-May email from […]

‘Farm and Food File’ celebrates 20 years

Thursday, July 11, 2013

In yet another testament to the careful inattention this office consistently pays to the career of its founding (and, as ever, only) staff member, an anniversary of sorts came and went a month ago with nary a notice, nod or neigh. During the first week of June, 1993, 20 alarmingly fast years ago, this column […]

Please tell me you remember, right??

Thursday, June 27, 2013

If you thought the farm bill fight was bad, you’re gonna hate the coming battle over the reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). You remember the CFTC, right? Futures market regulator It’s the futures market regulator that everyone despises until some brokerage firm takes $700 million from customer accounts a day before it […]

June, farm bill could be another mess

Thursday, June 20, 2013

June meant the end of school, the beginning of summer and the arrival of dairy month.Now, somehow, June has become the Golf Channel’s official Pace of Play Month, LGBT Pride Month (you can look that up) and Farm Bill Month. Little wonder rural folks are cranky; enjoying frosty bowls of vanilla ice cream on the […]

Top 10 reasons to love the China deal

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

There’s many reasons to be thrilled about Shuanghui International Holding Inc.’s proposed $4.7 billion purchase of Smithfield Foods, Inc. Here’s only 10…

A closer look at farmland values

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The mild winter affected U.S. farmland values only mildly. Summer, however, may cool ‘em. According to the much-followed Seventh Federal Reserve District quarterly land survey — a poll across 219 ag bankers in Iowa, Michigan, the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin and the northern two-thirds of Illinois and Indiana — first-quarter 2013 land values in the […]

So, where’s my cow insurance?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It was evident from the hello that the South Dakota rancher had practiced his pitch before he dialed my office. “I’m (so and so),” he said in a clipped, clear voice, “an independent cow-calf producer west of the (Missouri) river with 500 cows. I’m calling with one question: Where do I go to sign up […]

Dairy’s dive into the unknown

Thursday, May 23, 2013

It’s one of American agriculture’s best truisms: Only six people in the world understand U.S. dairy policy and none of the six milks cows. It’s not true, of course. Only four people understand U.S. dairy policy. And soon it’s about to get worse. Under the just-passed Senate Ag Committee Farm Bill, two of dairy’s four […]

You’ll know it when you see it

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court case Jacobellis v. Ohio, Justice Potter Stewart wrote a concurring opinion he hoped would establish a legal standard that protected every American’s right to free speech yet guarded “community standards” against “hard core pornography.” That competing interest, Stewart wrote, was difficult to balance because it was difficult to define […]

Patience is farming with a faulty planter

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The first good corn planting day of spring finally arrived at my central Illinois farmette April 30. Like the month’s previous 29 days, however, no one within 100 miles used it to plant because near-record rains had washed April away. Late start So now it’s May and it’s late by any corn-planting standard. On the […]

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