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  • Brewing storm: 2015 net farm income could be lower than 1990s

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Farm and Food File Results

I need more wood for the stove, but…

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The tall, mostly dead red oak on the eastern edge of the farmette still stands this late, long winter, saved mostly by this late, long winter. The majestic, strong-armed tree, my age or a little more, had a date with the saw and maul as soon as the weather turned cold. Deep snow and face-cracking […]

Congress: Be sure to read it and then pay

Thursday, February 27, 2014

On Jan. 5, 2011,, the website for the “House Republican Majority,” trumpeted news that its members had acted on their “promise” to “ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.” […]

HSUS and PETA are the least of your problems

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Early February was not a good time to be an American carnivore. First, on Feb. 8, Rancho Feeding Co. of Petaluma, Calif., announced it was recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef carcasses and cuts. That’s virtually every pound of the company’s 2013 throughput. Reason The reason for the recall, explained the Feb. 11 Los Angeles […]

The gift that keeps on giving

Thursday, February 13, 2014

If you’re an ag-dependent advertising agency, a commodity organization hired hand or an ag journalist who can’t do math, commodity checkoffs are a gift that just keeps on giving. The most recent checkoff gift comes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General. The OIG released a 29-page report Jan. 31 on […]

New farm bill less than ‘miraculous’

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Columnist says the new farm bill does not justify the time and work it took.

New farm bill was a shameful process

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The farm bill may be settled, but the process was ugly.

Go slow on the bull market

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You wouldn’t order a new pick-up truck without reserving the right to amend—choose—how the truck is equipped inside and out. The same goes for a new combine or an operating loan. After all, it’s your farm or ranch so, naturally, you’ll choose what’s right for you and it and not let some ratchet-jawed salesman dictate […]

Ag’s budget math favors crop insurance

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Claims of food stamp fraud just don’t match up with reality.

Books, plans and farm ‘Congress’

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A week or two into every new year, most folks review, often regretfully, their list of resolutions already bent, broken or buried. That never happened on the big southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth for one simple reason: We never made any New Year’s resolutions. We didn’t. Honest. In fact, I can’t recall one […]

Congress wraps up its least productive year ever

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Every year ends on Dec. 31. Every baseball season ends with the World Series. Growing seasons end with a hard freeze and the opera season is over when a large, round lady sings. Today’s ag political season, however, never ends. Farm bills take more than two years to write and they’re still not written. Negotiations […]


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