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Farm and Food File Results

Dirty laundry is out in the open now

Thursday, July 3, 2008

With the summer’s big holiday just ahead and the midpoint of the year just behind, it’s time to empty the office bucket of spleen, venom, anger and an occasional kiss readers vented, hurled, sent and tossed my way. First, some corrections. “As a farmer and a Spanish teacher, I felt compelled to correct the spelling […]

Flooding fallout is anyone’s guess

Thursday, June 26, 2008

While Midwestern farmers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have precise measurements on how much rain fell where in the deluge that socked 2008 planting, it will be months before anyone anywhere will know the final damage to property, production and prices. Early guesses — a few official, many unofficial — however, are floating in. […]

Bare cupboard needs a great crop

Thursday, June 12, 2008

There’s no profit in arguing with government numbers, a veteran commodity trader once moaned to me. “You might be right come two months,” he explained, “but the market might kill you in two weeks.” That advice came to mind when plowing into the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s June 2 Crop Progress Report. Despite the wettest, […]

DFA not celebrating much this June

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mega-dairy co-op, Dairy Farmers of America, is the focus of several investigations.

Anti-ethanol effort led by grocers

Thursday, May 29, 2008

According to two documents posted on Sen. Charles Grassley’s, R-Iowa, congressional Web site, the “grassroots” anti-ethanol media blitz that’s hitched today’s climbing food prices to farmer-backed biofuels is as fake as astro-turf. Indeed, Grassley explained to Senate colleagues during his May 15 endorsement of the new farm bill, “It turns out that a $300,000, six-month […]

Soybean farmers: Living on a prayer

Thursday, May 15, 2008

As the cold, wet planting season of 2008 slips into mid-May, corn and soybean farmers are grousing about weather delays, the likelihood of reduced yields and a summer of stress before they find out if the former clobbered the latter. While I empathize with their dilemma — this is easily the most costly crop any […]

‘Bloated’ farm bill on shaky ground

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Since 1981, when I picked up my first pen, paper and paycheck as a journalist, six farm bills have come and gone. With them came and went some giant elements in U.S. farm policy; elements like the Farmer Owned Reserve, planting set-asides, Kansas Sen. Bob Dole and longtime House Ag Committee boss Kike de la […]

Farm bill politics are a train wreck

Thursday, May 1, 2008

In the long, glorious history of America, it’s unlikely that April 22, 2008, will be remembered as anything other than just another balmy, bureaucratic spring day in Washington, D.C. Meetings met, talkers talked and, in typical Washington fashion, the day ended with little movement other than finger pointing. Such were the outcomes of key meetings […]

Not to worry about winter baggage

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Spring finally found the legs to arrive in central Illinois nearly a month after the calendar alerted us to be on the lookout for it. Certain signs — corn planters and daffodils blooming in every barnyard, Queen Mary-sized fertilizer trucks cruising down every county blacktop — suggest the season’s here to stay. Also here to […]

U.S. economy is ‘eating seed corn’

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American humorist Will Rogers once joked that “there’s no trick” in coming up with political wisecracks “when you have the whole government working for you.” That insight was confirmed again March 14 when President George W. Bush addressed the Economic Club of New York. The U.S. economy, the president finally acknowledged, was sputtering. But, he […]


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