Silence on Two Neonicotinoid Reports

May 18, 2018 Marc Brazeau 0

The EU and member states are moving to ban neonicotinoid insecticides. But two recently released reports on the issue conclude that a ban would push farmers back to using pest control options that are worse for the environment and possibly for bees as well.

A U.S. Farm Bill Even a Butterfly Could Love?

May 2, 2018 Guest Authors 0

Before there was a general understanding of the benefits of native vegetation and the risks of invasive plants — introduced species that outcompete other species, spread quickly and alter ecosystems — USDA had a hand in introducing foreign plants that proved aggressive. Long ago, the agency promoted kudzu for erosion control. Now it works to control invasive species and does not provide assistance for planting them. It also actively promotes the use of native species through some programs.

Revitalizing Main Street with Cooperatives

April 18, 2018 Guest Authors 0

The intersection of Central and Lowry Avenues in northeast Minneapolis is bustling. On the northwest corner is a trifecta of local businesses: A bike shop, a cooperative brewery, and a bakery. The neighborhood grocery co-op is one block up the street.

This commercial stretch didn’t always look like this.

Stand Up for Family Farmers – Pass the Farmer Fair Practices Rules

June 6, 2017 National Farmer's Union 0

The Farmer Fair Practice Rules consist of one interim final rule and two proposed rules. The interim final rule deals with competitive injury disputes for contract growers. Currently, contract poultry growers must prove harm for the entire $48 billion chicken industry rather than harm to themselves when seeking relief from poultry companies for abusive contract practices. This outrageous interpretation of the Packers and Stockyards Act not only places undue burden on individual growers – it also allows the meatpacking industries to continue abusive practices largely free of consequences. The interim final rule eliminates that burden, thereby taking some power from the multinational meatpackers and placing it with the individual farmers.

Crop Insurance Subsidies Should Be Capped

May 25, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Large farms should be able to buy crop insurance on every acre, but there should be limits to the amount of their bill that taxpayers are responsible for. Other subsidy programs have a payment limit. Why should crop insurance be different?

Milking Scapegoats

April 28, 2017 National Farmer's Union 0

Wisconsin farmer Chris Holman sorts out the issues in the dairy industry laid bare by Grassland Dairy Products announcement that they were dropping 75 farms as suppliers and the finger pointing by the Trump administration as it tries to deflect attention away from domestic troubles towards Canada.

Carbon Farming for Fun and Profit. Good Policy Can Help.

April 17, 2017 Guest Authors 0

With shifting political winds and poor commodity prices, farmers may now be willing to consider new ways of generating income by adopting environmentally friendly practices, such as planting cover crops, extending crop rotations or eliminating tillage. Many farmers are already using these practices on a small scale. To combat climate change and stabilize incomes, farmers should look to policy to tackle both in tandem.

Race and the Proletarianization of the American Farmer

March 21, 2017 Marc Brazeau 1

Despite contributions made by African Americans, the most recent Census of Agriculture found that of the 2.2 million farms in the United States, 83 percent have white males as principal operators; African Americans constitute only 1.4 percent of principal farm operators