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  • Corn, Soybean, Wheat Crops Projected to Come Down, But Supplies Still High in 2017 | DTN

    In its early forecast for crop production, USDA's Outlook for crops lowers corn, soybean and wheat production for the 2017-18 crop year. USDA pegs corn production at 14.065 billion bushels, 7% below a year ago with an average yield of 170.7 bushels per acre, down from last year's record yield of 174.6 bpa. USDA projects corn acreage at 90 million planted acres, down 4 million from 2016. Despite USDA boosting soybean planted acres for this spring by 4.6 million acres to a record 88 million acres, USDA still lowers projected soybean production to 4.18 billion bushels, 3% lower than 2016 with an average yield of 48 bpa, down 4.1 bushels from 2016. Wheat production is projected at 1.837 billion bushels, down 20% from last year with a yield expected at 47.1 bpa, down 10% from last year. Planted wheat acres are projected at 46 million, down 4.6 million from last year. The USDA Outlook is the department's first major forecast of the 2017-18 marketing year, which will be updated in the March 31 prospective plantings report.

    Post date: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 18:25
  • Oklahoma:Professionals sought for rural areas | Frederick Press Leader

    Two state House bills intended to attract doctors and workers to sparsely populated areas of Oklahoma were endorsed in committees recently.  House Bill 2301 by Speaker Charles McCall (R-Atoka), would authorize a tax exemption on the first $25,000 of annual income earned by any “qualifying doctor” who moves to a rural area of Oklahoma. The exemption could be claimed so long as the doctor remained in that designated area, the bill indicates.  The bill defines a “rural area” to mean any town or unincorporated area that has fewer than 25,000 residents and is at least 25 miles from the nearest municipality that has a population that exceeds 25,000.  The bill also specifies that a “qualifying doctor” means a medical doctor or osteopathic physician who: * is licensed to practice medicine in Oklahoma, * was graduated from a medical institution of higher education in the state, and * resides within the same county as the rural area where the compensation that qualifies for the tax exemption proposed by HB 2301 is earned.

    Post date: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 18:15
  • Washington Farm Bureau joins suit against pay, sick leave law | Capital Press

    The Washington Farm Bureau and other business groups are suing to overturn the initiative that raised the minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave, pointing to a 2016 state Supreme Court ruling to bolster their claim the double-barreled measure is unconstitutional. The lawsuit contends Initiative 1433 imposed two policies. Washington’s constitution limits initiatives to one subject, an article the high court cited last year in voiding a tax-cutting measure sponsored by Tim Eyman. Farm Bureau CEO John Stuhlmiller said Friday that he hopes the Supreme Court will apply the same reasoning to I-1433, though he acknowledged it’s been a long time since the high court sided with the bureau. “That weighs heavily on everybody’s mind,” he said. “Candidly, I don’t want to go to the Supreme Court for anything.” I-1433 passed statewide in November with 57 percent of the vote, but failed in every county east of the Cascades. Several Western Washington counties also voted against the measure, but it won by lopsided margins in the most populous Puget Sound counties. The initiative was championed by unions and community activists. Gov. Jay Inslee collected signatures to qualify it for the ballot. After I-143 passed, former Supreme Court justice Phil Talmadge approached business groups about challenging the initiative. Talmadge referred questions to Patrick Connor, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

    Post date: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 18:12
  • Rural America broadens our economic, intellectual, cultural diversity | Salon

    Rural people and issues generally receive little attention from the urban-centric media and policy elites. Yet, rural America makes unique contributions to the nation’s character and culture, as well as provides most of its food, raw materials, drinking water and clean air. The recent presidential election also reminds us that, though rural America may be ignored, it continues to influence the nation’s future.“Rural America” is a deceptively simple term for a remarkably diverse collection of places. It includes nearly 72 percent of the land area of the United States and 46 million people. Farms, ranches, grain elevators and ethanol plants reflect the enduring importance of agriculture.

    Post date: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 14:47
  • When private pain becomes a community problem | High Country News

    Overall, the response to the epidemic in the West has been a “whack-a-mole approach,” Susan Kingston, coordinator for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the Center for Opioid Safety Education in Seattle, told me. “We’re trying to make any change we can. Big solutions are happening, but they are slow and need a lot of money and political commitment.” In September 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established $11 million in grants for Colorado, among 10 other states, to expand rehabilitation services for those with opioid addiction disorders. The state has among the highest treatment rates, according to SAMHSA, and so far has received more than $51 million in federal grants to fight addiction. Yet the problem stubbornly persists. In Craig, heroin abuse has jumped. From the time High Country Medical closed, in 2012, to 2015, heroin busts went up 70 percent, from 36 to 121, according to estimates from the Colorado Department of Justice

    Post date: Mon, 02/27/2017 - 14:46

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Farmland Taxes Under Discussion in the Midwest Again

23 January, 2017

Senator Jean Leising knows it’s going to be another tough year for beef and hog producers, and 2016’s record national yields for corn and soybeans indicate that farm profitability will decline for the third straight year.  She is convinced that “the drop in net farm income again this year makes the changes Indiana made to the farmland taxation calculation in 2016 even more important.”  


Are corporations taking over America’s food supply?

15 March, 2016

Family farms.  The foundation of America’s food security.  According to the USDA, 97 percent of farms are family farms, and they grow 90 percent of the food produced. But national policies to keep food affordable (American’s spend less than 7 percent of their paycheck for food) and the boom and bust cycles of farming have resulted in larger, more concentrated farming practices.