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Ag News

US Farm Income Takes a Painful Plunge in 2023

It likely comes as no surprise that farm incomes are set to decline in 2023 after hitting record levels in 2022. Still, the -22.8% year-over-year decline (approximately -$42 billion) currently projected by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) is a little hard to stomach. Accounting for inflation, the decline in net farm income from 2022 amounts to -$48 billion or ...
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Celebrating 100 Years of Farmall Tractors

It's been a century now since the original Farmall tractor was first introduced by International Harvester (IH). What came to be known as the "Regular" was not only the first commercially successful row crop tractor, it forever changed the way farmers farm.The first practical internal combustion tractor was built by Charles W. Hart and Charles H. Parr, who completed building ...
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Interesting Insights Into China’s Food Self-Sufficiency Struggles

Despite China's decades-long efforts to achieve food self-sufficiency, the country has been a net importer of agricultural products since 2004. In fact, China imports more soybeans, corn, wheat, rice, and dairy products - among others - than any other country in the world. Over the last two decades, the country's self-sufficiency has actually been going backwards and experts believe this ...
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What You Might Not Know About Cicadas and Katydids, the Last Sounds of Summer

The dog days of summer are now behind us but some of the sounds still linger in many parts of the country. One of the loudest is generated by 'dog-day' cicadas, also called 'annual' cicadas, that typically emerge every year from July to September. And every year, the fading sound of their buzzing signals cooler days ahead. Another loud little ...
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“Fractal” Wants to Help Farmers Hold On to More Farmland

Finance startup "Fractal" has launched what it says is a first-of-its-kind farmland equity financing platform that can help farmers secure needed capital to expand and improve their operations. The Minneapolis-based company invests alongside farmers by taking a passive stake in their current farmland. The farmers in turn receive the needed capital - which they can use as they see fit ...
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Brazil’s Corn and Soybean Crops Keep Getting Bigger

Brazil's corn and soybean crops are again setting new records this season with national crop agency CONAB pegging combined production at a record 322.8 million metric tons (MMT), an increase of just over +50 MMT, or +18% from last year. CONAB estimates the country's record soybean crop at 154.6 MMT, up +23% year-over-year. The record corn crop, with around 10% ...
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A Brief History of Milk Cartons

Since the mid-1970s, most Americans have been buying their milk in cartons and plastic jugs. But long before mass manufacturing and modern packaging, milk was sold out of the back of horse-drawn wagons from open barrels and cans. Typically, a "milkman" would ladle the milk into whatever containers milk buyers brought with them, or people would leave them on their ...
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Producers May be Slow to Rebuild the US Cattle Herd

As (if) drought conditions start to slowly improve and pastures come back, a big question for the beef industry is when the rebuilding of the US cattle herd will begin? So far, there are few signs that producers are holding more heifers back for breeding and many cattle market insiders suspect that herd expansion will take a lot longer than ...
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2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac Comes with a “Winter Warning”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac (OFA) was founded in 1792 and has been releasing annual long-range weather forecasts for centuries. Remember, the OFA’s weather predictions are made up to 18 months in advance, and according to their own numbers close to 80% correct. The 2024 Old Farmer’s Almanac comes with a winter warning: it’s a wise idea to have your coat and ...
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Piggly Wiggly Becomes the First Supermarket!

It was on this day in 1916 that a store in Memphis, Tennessee, named "Piggly Wiggly" became the first true self-service grocery store in the US and the originator of various familiar supermarket concepts such as checkout stands, individual item price marking, and shopping carts. Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, had the concept of the "self-serving store" patented in ...
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