Industry survey: Less than half of Americans think U.S. ag is sustainable

In a new survey by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, a public-relations arm of the Farm Bureau and commodity groups, fewer than half of respondents agreed with the statement, “The way that most of today’s farming and ranching operations in the U.S. grow and raise food meets the standards of sustainability.”

Crop-insurance claims zoom for prevented planting

Crop-insurance claims by farmers for prevented planting are up by 48 percent this year, said Bloomberg, a reflection of the cold and rainy spring. Growers filed claims on 2.3 million acres of corn and nearly 2.2 million acres of soybeans, said the news agency, based on its review of federal data.

Smaller tractors make big waves in equipment sales

Livestock producers are buying a lot of tractors these days, the result of high cattle and hog prices, while sales falter for the big tractors and self-propelled combines used by grain farmers, says AgWeb.

“The most challenging year” for crop insurance

One of the top lobbyists at the American Farm Bureau Federation says budget-cutting pressure means that, "This is probably the most challenging year for crop insurance in a long time," AgWeb reports in a story from the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau meeting.

Farmland values dip in Midwest and Plains

Land prices declined in 12 Midwestern and Plains states but held steady or improved slightly in the South according to Farmers National Co, a farm management and real estate company, says AgWeb.

Deere sells crop insurance unit to Farmers Mutual Hail

Deere and Co, the world's largest equipment maker, said it reached definitive agreement to sell its crop insurance unit to Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co., of West Des Moines, Iowa.

Tough to get drones off the ground

If Big Data was the topic du jour of the spring, drones are the buzz this summer. There have been regional sessions about them and the upcoming Dakotafest ag show will hold a day's worth of workshops on drones on Aug 20.

After Toledo water ban, Ohio farmers fear scapegoating

Farm leaders in Ohio say producers have worked for years to reduce their use of fertilizer and to reduce runoff through using no-till cultivation and planting filter strips near waterways, says AgWeb.

Gates Foundation official describes ag development program

In an interview with AgWeb, Pamela Anderson, director of agriculture development for the Gates Foundation, describes the foundation's strategy on agricultural research and food security.

No scientific need to label GMO food, says think tank

A panel of scientists reviewed the arguments over labeling genetically engineered foods and concluded, "There is no science-based reason to single out GE foods and feeds for mandatory process-based labeling...