soybeans

(Wikimedia Commons)
Lauren Chapman

Thursday night at the stroke of midnight, speculations became reality when the U.S.-imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Indiana Farmers Feeling Impact Of Tariffs, Fear More

Apr 9, 2018
Steve Burns / WTIU

 

All of the talk about a possible trade war with China has a lot of Hoosiers worried – especially farmers.

China implemented tariffs this week on more than 120 goods from the United States, including pork products. Indiana is the fifth leading pork producer in the country, so farmers here will feel the impact.

China’s newest list of proposed tariffs include one of Indiana's staple crops – soybeans – and would hit the Hoosier agriculture industry hard.

Purdue professor of agricultural economics Wally Tyner and colleague Farzard Taheripour studied the possible impact the tariff like the one announced would have on the U.S. Tyner says the 25 percent proposed tariff on soybeans would hurt the U.S. economy.

Farmers Get Ag-gressive On Soil Health

Dec 7, 2017

A group of companies and nonprofits will provide almost $20 million to conservation groups to improve soil health in Indiana and across the country – a move aimed at putting more money in farmers’ pockets and protecting natural resources.

Money from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, General Mills, Monsanto, and others will go to three conservation groups to better understand soil health. Larry Clemens, the director of The Nature Conservancy’s North America Agriculture Program, says Indiana is already a national leader in soil health.

Joshua Duffy / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joshduffyphoto/7283981926

Last week’s heavy rainfall has added more delays to Indiana’s corn harvest.

As of this week, 70-percent of the state’s corn has been harvested – that’s compared to 85-percent at this time last year. That’s even though, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, wet conditions have forced farmers to focus on corn instead of completing soybean harvests.

Indiana’s corn harvest is still 10 percent behind schedule as of this week, with soybeans about on track as a year of difficult farming conditions stretches into November.

The unpredictability of this year’s weather may be an unwelcome new normal for Hoosier agriculture, according to Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen.

In 2017, Indiana has seen a wet spring and long planting season, an over-warm start to fall and now, rains that are lengthening the multi-billion-dollar grain harvest. Nielsen says data shows extremes like those are becoming increasingly standard.

Hoosier Farmers Toil As Corn Harvest Drags On

Oct 24, 2017

Indiana grain farmers are hustling to keep up with harvest as fall progresses.

The soybean crop is on pace with the five-year average as of this week, according to the USDA. But corn is less than half harvested, which is well below average for this time of year.

That’s put large operations like White Oak Farms in Putnam County under the gun to get their corn out of the field before it spoils.

The herbicide dicamba has damaged large swaths of Midwest crops in the past year. But Monsanto, one maker of the weed-killer, says it’s a small-scale problem for a powerful tool.

The agritech giant’s CTO Robb Fraley addressed the issue during a recent talk at Purdue University’s Dawn or Doom tech conference.

Fraley basically invented genetically modified crops – mainly, ones that kill pests or tolerate certain chemicals.

Farmers in Indiana and across the nation are using more of a powerful, but controversial, weed killer this year — dicamba.

Dicamba has been used since at least the 1960s, mostly on corn. Last year, though, the Environmental Protection Agency approved a new type of dicamba to use on cotton and soybean plants genetically engineered to resist the weed killer.

Don Lamb, who operates an 8,800 acre farm in Lebanon, says the new dicamba has created a problem.

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