Net farm income to rebound in 2019 as farmers pare expenses

After hitting a pothole in 2018, U.S. net farm income will recover this year under the combined effects of financial belt-tightening and rising crop prices, said the USDA on Thursday. It projected net farm income of $77.6 billion in 2019, which would be the highest total since the commodity boom collapsed in 2014.

Farmland values up slightly in Midwest, down a bit in Plains

Ag bankers in the Midwest say farmland values were steady overall in 2018 and rose by 1 percent in the final three months of the year, reported the Chicago Federal Reserve on Thursday in its quarterly AgLetter.

In two ways, lawmakers say ‘no’ to relocation of USDA research agencies

Congress is about to send USDA funding for the rest of the fiscal year to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. It will also send him an unambiguous, although nonbinding, message: Don’t move the Economic Research Service or the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington.

Today’s quick hits, Feb. 15, 2019

Feed can be a conduit for swine disease (Farm Journal): A Kansas State University study shows that African swine fever, usually fatal to hogs, can be transmitted through the consumption of contaminated feed and liquids, even with extremely low levels of the virus present. Pork and turkey cost …

Breakfast in classrooms, universal access boost school breakfast count

Breakfast participation rates at U.S. schools rose in the 2017-18 school year, and a report issued Wednesday by the Food Research & Action Center attributed that increase to decisions by schools to serve breakfast in classrooms and to offer meals to all pupils free of charge.

Traceability a ‘critical piece’ of the food safety network, says the FDA

In a look back at last November’s recall of romaine lettuce, the FDA says that although “one farm cannot explain the entire outbreak,” it is now able to identify potential sources of E. coli contamination by using technology that can track foods from field to consumer.

Today’s quick hits, Feb. 14, 2019

A growing rural-urban divide (The Register-Guard): Fifty years ago, in all regions of Oregon, at least 50 percent of registered voters were Democrats. Today, urban parts of the state can be 70 percent Democratic, while more rural regions can be just 40 percent Democratic. Tyson’s reinvention …

Grassley wants a solo regulation for E15 by summertime

The EPA says it will approve sale of E15 — which contains 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline — before the start of the summer driving season, as promised by President Trump. To make sure the agency meets its goal, Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said on Tuesday the EPA should propose a stripped-down regulation devoted solely to the corn-based biofuel.

North Carolina poultry industry overtakes hogs in waste, report says

North Carolina has been grappling for years with the enormous quantity of waste produced by its hog farms. But the state has more than twice as many poultry farms, and the state must consider the impact of poultry waste when thinking about how to regulate the agriculture industry, says a new report from the Environmental Working Group.