Forrest Laws

Director of Content,
Farm Press

Forrest Laws, director of content for the Penton Media Agriculture Group, spent 10 years with a metropolitan daily newspaper before joining Delta Farm Press in 1980. He has written extensively on farm production practices, crop marketing, farm legislation, environmental regulations and alternative energy. He now oversees the content creation for Delta, Southeast, Southwest and Western Farm Press and for BEEF, Corn and Soybean Digest, Farm Industry News, Hay & Forage Grower and National Hog Farmer. He resides in Memphis, Tenn.

Farmers may see steeper budget cuts in new farm bill
Farmers may see higher cuts in farm program spending now that fiscal cliff has been averted and the 2008 farm bill extended for another year.
2013 Farm Press High Cotton winners announced 1
The Cotton Foundation/Farm Press High Cotton Award winners for 2013 — Chad Crivelli, Dos Palos, Calif.; John Wilde, San Angelo, Texas; Johnny Little, Holcomb, Miss.; and Linwood Vick, Wilson, N.C., — have continued the High Cotton Award traditions of growing good, profitable cotton in an environmentally friendly manner.
Fiscal cliff solution may include farm bill language
The longer President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner argue over how to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff” tax and spending crisis, the less likely farmers are to get a new farm bill in time for the 2013 crops.
Arkansas may decrease rice acres in favor of corn, soybeans
Arkansas, the No. 1 rice-producing state in the U.S., may decrease rice acreage in favor of corn or soybeans in 2013 if prices for the latter continue to remain at or near their currently high levels.
Organic food inspections lacking, despite USDA program 2
When Mischa Popoff, currently a policy advisor for the Heartland Institute, says the current system for certifying organic foods is flawed, he’s not just another conventional-agriculture advocate complaining about expensive organic food.
Smartphones and apps taking agriculture by storm 1
Twenty-five years ago, CB radios were all the rage. Then came cell phones. Now smartphones are taking the consumer world by storm. That’s becoming true, as well, in agriculture where IT experts are dreaming up new uses for the handheld devices almost daily.
Stabenow draft ends direct payments, boosts crop insurance
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow has released a new draft farm bill that would eliminate direct payments but increase risk management provisions while reducing farm program expenditures by $23 billion.
Cotton industry dealing with more uncertainty
National Cotton Council leaders are having to learn to deal with more uncertainty given the federal budget crisis and the need to revisit the nation’s four- or five-year farm legislation in the midst of a presidential election year.
Crop insurance set as top farm bill priority
A coalition of major U.S. farm organizations have released a statement saying that an affordable crop insurance program will be their No. 1 priority for the 2012 farm bill debate.
Global cotton industry facing slow yield decade
World cotton production is expected to grow only modestly through the rest of this decade, a development that could constrain both consumption and the cotton value chain. The only scenario that might change the growth rate is the discovery of a new technology – such as Bt cotton – that could trigger a new round of yield hikes.
Farm bill faces difficult road ahead
The cotton industry — and Congress — will have several options for pursuing a new farm bill over the next few months. Unfortunately, most of them are less than ideal, says the National Cotton Council’s chief Washington spokesman.
High Cotton winners overcome challenges galore
The High Cotton Awards, sponsored by Farm Press Publications through a grant to The Cotton Foundation, are presented annually to cotton producers in each of the four Farm Press coverage areas who produce good cotton yields while taking good care of the land and water on their farms. This year’s winners: Southeast Region— Kent Wannamaker, St. Matthews, S.C.; Delta Region — Coley Bailey Jr., Coffeeville, Miss.; Southwest Region — Shawn Holladay, Lamesa, Texas; and Far West Region — Don Cameron, Helm, Calif.
Corn farmers continue on 300-bushel quest
If U.S. corn growers continue to increase yields at the rate they’ve been doing for the last 55 years, they should be able to reach the fabled national average yield goal of 300 bushels per acre by around, oh, 2086.
One-size-fits-all farm bills may be on way out
A “one-size-fits-all” farm bill approach may no longer be a good fit for agriculture, and it certainly doesn’t fit the rice industry. The House and Senate Ag Committees have been criticized for reportedly conducting “farm bill negotiations in secret” while preparing the budget proposal for the Super Committee.
Arcane Senate rules allow 'hold' of pesticide permits
Arcane rules of the Senate prevented a vote in advance of yesterday’s expiration of the stay of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals’ January 2009 ruling in National Cotton Council, et. al. v. EPA. Lack of action means the EPA could begin implementing a system for issuing permits for such applications immediately. Holds placed by two senators – Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Benjamin Cardin, D-Md. – blocked a vote in the Senate on legislation.
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