5 stories farmers read this week: March 12, 2016

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5 stories collage for March 12, 2016

These were the most-read stories on FarmandDairy.com this week:

1. Eliminating GMOs would raise food prices

A team of ag economists pondered what would happen if GMOs went away. After gathering data, they learned that corn yield would decline by 11.2 percent, soybeans yield would decline by 5.2 percent and cotton yield would decline by 18.6 percent.

With this yield loss, 250,000 acres of forest and pasture would have to be turned into cropland, crop prices would rise and consumer prices would increase by 1 to 2 percent each year, which translates to $14 billion to $24 billion a year.

2. Palmer amaranth: Find it, stop it

Farmers don’t want to find palmer amaranth in their fields.

A member of the Pigweed species, Palmer amaranth is glyphosate-resistant. It’s been a big problem in the South, and now it’s been found in Ohio and Pennsylvania, too. If it isn’t stopped, it can cause reduced yields and a cost increase in herbicide programs.

3. Top farmers recognized at Conservation Tillage Conference

At the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference held in Ada, Ohio, March 2-3, several Ohio farmers were recognized.

Matt VanTilburg of Celina, Ohio, received the crop advisor of the year award. Grain farmers David Brandt of Carroll, Ohio, and Jan Layman of Kenton, Ohio, received the Master Farmer awards.

4. Soil health can make big difference for water quality

Healthy soil has many benefits. That was the central point made at the Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference last week. Natural Resources Conservation Service soil health specialist Barry Fisher stressed the importance of soil health because it affects water quality, yields, erosion and nutrient loss.

5. Fun projects for spring planting

Spring planting is right around the corner. Online columnist Ivory Harlow offers two fun projects — seed tape and seed bombs — to get you ready. These projects require the same supplies, including compost, all-natural powdered clay, water and seeds, and they’re great for gardeners of all ages and all abilities.

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