The weather is seriously stressing many crops this year. Corn, specifically, is also being stressed because of the demand for biofuel (ethanol) and livestock animal feed.
Dr. Thomas E. Elam, FarmEcon LLC, released a presentation and detailed analysis of why the USA Renewable Fuel Standard, in this current weather and economic environment, needs to have flexibility in its application [background via EPA]. Dr. Elam's key point: Ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn and related commodity prices [detailed analysis paper PDF] [summary slide deck PDF].
Dr. Bob Wisner, Iowa State University, and Joel Newman, President and CEO of American Feed Industry Association, provide some highlights of the report titled "Future Patterns of U.S. Grains, Biofuels, and Livestock and Poultry Feeding". This is a another report that highlights the conflicts of having corn being used as a feed grain and a source of energy (ethanol): "Biofuels: A Major Driver of the Changing Feed Cost Environment" is one of the first executive summary points [audio] [report PDF].
Audio: How Do We Make Animal ID happen? - Veterinarians and computer IT folks don't speak the same launguage. Yet, information technology plays a critical role in animal identification, standards, and software to help pull together efficient and accurate animal identification systems [audio].
Video: Authentically Agriculture - Who is leading the conversation about agriculture today? Many people would answer with consumers, HSUS, Michael Pollan, and Jamie Oliver, to name a few. Why can't people in agriculture be leading the conversation and thought leadership?
Have You A Forage Plan? When you need forage is not the time to start planning for it. Now is the time to take into account outcomes from prior years, look at forecasts, update your livestock plans, and review your finances. Then tackle some of the farm production activities to see how forage options can be extended or modified to buy time if needed. Key is having some backup plans for when the weather does not cooperate!
This conversation with Mycogen Seeds customer agronomist Jon Erickson overviews comments from World Dairy Expo, outcomes from the forage contest and takes in production issues across the growing region.
International Ingredient Corporation locates and identifies alternative feed components. These materials are scanned with NIR technology to determine nutrient value and blended into traditional feeds for significant cost savings. And who doesn't like chocolate?
Hay storage planning and design is a must for those operations that need to sell and export hay.
Highest quality hay is required for the export market. This applies both to processed and feed hay. A good weather-tight hay storage is required to maintain the desired quality. Both structural and functional design are essential to a quality hay storage. This is not to imply that a good quality storage will not benefit any hay producer or user.
This technical article provides information on storage design and layout.