agriculture

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue wrapped up a Midwest road trip at the Indiana State Fair Tuesday.

Perdue met in private with state lawmakers about their goals for the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization.

That’s the $800 billion package of laws governing the nation’s agricultural and nutritional assistance programs.

Scott Meyers / Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/89022304

The Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission appears poised to approve new rules governing where self-storage facilities may be built and what happens inside of them.

The APC will consider a proposal at a meeting this week which would bar such facilities from being built on land currently zoned for agricultural use.

County Commissioner Tom Murtaugh helped spearhead the ordinance and says it comes out of a permit denial for land next to a creek on the far eastern edge of Lafayette.

A Purdue University professor is getting nearly half a million dollars from the USDA to study how food policies creating new labels and certifications can affect prices and consumer choice.

The research received $483,000 from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture this month. It seeks to answer questions about things like GMO label requirements.

As Indiana farmers hurry through planting season – the corn crop is nearly three-quarters planted as of Monday, with soybeans nearly half done – they’re also watching big changes at the USDA.

The department is reorganizing its trade and rural development programs, while the White House takes aim at those issues in its own way.

Indiana’s corn and soybean growers are getting seeds in the ground this week – but more rain on the way could put farmers in a difficult position.

As of Monday, 56 percent of the state’s projected corn crop and 23 percent of the projected soybean crop have been planted.

Congress is once again considering a bill to help pay off more student debt for veterinarians in high-need, rural areas.

The proposal has stalled in committee for the past several years – but advocates for Hoosier vets say it’s needed now more than ever.

Indiana’s two USDA-designated veterinarian shortage areas cover most of the west central part of the state – two districts made up of 17 counties, centered around the cities of Lafayette and Brazil.

Hoosiers will see more farm equipment in the fields in the next few weeks, as spring corn and soybean planting ramps up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects farmers in Indiana and nationwide to plant more soybeans than ever this year, while corn acreage looks to hold steady.

Purdue University agronomist and self-named “corn guy” Bob Nielsen says corn prices are still lackluster, with plenty in storage, and that’s driven soybean prices up.

An older audience of Indiana Farm Bureau members heard a younger perspective at their annual conference in Indianapolis this past weekend – from the head of millennial engagement at agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Vance Crowe told Hoosier farmers they should rethink how they communicate about the food system.

Crowe is one of many recent hires at Monsanto tasked with changing the public narrative about GMOs, industrial agriculture and other controversial issues.

Indiana’s $11 billion farming sector is hoping to benefit under President Donald Trump.

The new commander-in-chief has threatened some trade deals that agriculture relies on. But many in the industry hope his nominee to lead the Department of Agriculture will have a different take.

Sonny Perdue is a former Georgia governor and commercial farming veteran. His home state is known for cotton, peanuts and livestock, not corn and soybeans.

But Jane Ade Stevens, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Soybean Alliance CEO, says Perdue still has a background in cash crops.

Robert S. Donovan / https://www.flickr.com/photos/booleansplit/

According to the Indiana Department of Labor, the injury and illness rate of the state’s agricultural workers increased almost 30 percent between 2014 and 2015. But the numbers—from the state’s annual Survey of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries—don’t tell the whole story.

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