Before spring arrives and our attention turns to blue sky, dancing daffodils, and why the corn planter’s GPS isn’t working, let’s take a few minutes to lock in key numbers that will dominate the still-young farm and ranch year.
The Trump Administration’s turtle-slow start with the Republican-led Congress bodes ill for what it and Republicans said would be a busy legislative year. Tax reform, replacing Obamacare, raising the debt ceiling, and a 2018 budget all await initial action.
The most positive news about the most negative presidential campaign in modern history is that, in 80 or so days, we can forget to remember it.
The Texas rancher was rehashing his Capitol Hill meeting over a cold beer and a not-much-warmer steak at a swanky restaurant a block or two from the White House.
With electronic ignition, fuel injection and more computing power than the space shuttle, today’s cars and trucks never backfire. Our politicians – with less horsepower and far less memory – often still do.
While American farmers and ranchers were eyeball-deep in spring planting and first-cutting hay, their commodity groups and federal government were knee-deep in narrowly-focused studies filled with meaningless numbers and unchallenged econometric puffery.
As the politics of this election year heat up, the chances of Congress debating – let alone passing – either of the White House’s marque trade deals continue to melt away.
Big Ag’s control of the non-refundable, federally-chartered Research & Promotion programs – more commonly known as commodity checkoffs – reached new heights April 19 when the House Appropriations Committee approved the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $21.3 billion 2017 budget.
March did not go out like either a lion or a lamb. In fact, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its Prospective Plantings Report midday March 31, the month – as well as the 2016 corn market – highballed it into history faster than a runaway train.
Forty-five years ago, anyone hoping to be someone in American agriculture was offered the same, free advice: “Buy land; they’re not making it anymore.”
America’s counter-culture had its Summer of Love in 1969 and baseball its Home Run Summer in 1998. U.S. farm and checkoff groups will have their Cuban Junket Summer in 2016.
Despite the bile pouring out the nation’s capital, there still are three daily events in Washington, D.C. that every American can count on: sunrise, sunset, and U.S. farm groups’ unwavering support for “free” trade.
As American agriculture grinds through February’s dull weather and even duller commodity markets, two Chinese firms have used the month to make inroads into the American farm and food colossus.
Despite claims to the opposite, the increasing chances of Donald – “You’re fired!”–Trump changing to “I, Donald – do solemnly swear – Trump” is not a sign of the coming apocalypse.
The fireworks-filled, holiday celebration that is the Chinese New Year doesn’t begin until Feb. 8. Three weeks into calendar year 2016, however, key elements in China’s economy – its wildly speculative stock markets, less-than-transparent currency, sagging heavy industries – have gone boom.
It’s hard, messy work to make U.S. farm and food policy. It’s even harder and messier if anyone in Congress actually proposes policy, actually holds hearings to examine that policy, actually debates and, then, actually votes on how it might affect every farmer, rancher, and eater in the country.
(Editor’s note: This column was written and 1994 and is easily the most requested reprint of Alan Guebert’s columns.)
About the only one ever happy to see a mosquito is a hungry purple martin, the acrobatic swallow that dines on the bothersome insects morning, noon, and night. You and me, however, would be perfectly happy never to see another mosquito for the rest of our lives.
The gray dullness of November finally made it to Illinois a couple of weeks late.
It was the legislative equivalent of pulling an elephant out of a hat as the stage curtain was about to fall.
Most Americans like things simple because, well, life is just simpler that way. We like our choices even more simple – up or down, baked or fried, boxers or briefs – because we believe simple choices shorten the odds of mistaken choices.
Most U.S. farm and commodity groups aren’t clear on the exact elements of the just agreed-upon Trans-Pacific Partnership. That lack of understanding, though, hasn’t stopped any from praising this “new, high-standard trade agreement that levels the playing field for American workers and Ameri…
By car, Quebec City, Quebec, is 1,840 miles from Bismarck, N.D. I know because in the last two months I have seen every mile of highway between North Dakota’s state capital on the Missouri to Quebec’s provincial capital on the St. Lawrence.
In a relatively short, toughly-worded decision issued Aug. 3, a federal judge in Idaho struck down that state’s year-old “ag gag” law that sought to “criminalize” undercover, or whistleblower, investigations of livestock facilities suspected of animal abuse.
There’s little safety and virtually no accuracy in SAFE, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, July 23.