Idaho agriculture is perhaps best known for its ‘spud-ilicious’ potatoes yet the Gem State’s almost $8 billion farming industry is a diverse combination of about 185 commodities ranging from livestock to barley, alfalfa, trout, dry edible beans, and wheat.
In mid-June, a dozen U.S. cotton and rice farmers toured farms and processing facilities in southeastern Idaho as part of the National Cotton Council of America’s (NCC) 10th annual Multi-Commodity Exchange Program (MCEP), sponsored by John Deere....More
The University of California (UC) Agricultural Issues Center (AIC) has compiled the costs and returns of establishing an orchardgrass stand and producing the hay crop in the Intermountain Region of the Golden State, including Shasta, Lassen, and Siskiyou counties....More
The Stockton Group, a leader in innovative botanical based crop protection, has signed a major agreement with Syngenta as the exclusive global distributor of new biofungicide technology based on tea tree oil for the control of several diseases in ornamental crops.
Stockton products will be sold globally under the Syngenta brand for botrytis and powdery mildew in ornamentals.
Syngenta will market the new biofungicide technology in Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America, and Africa....More
Mark Christopher Watte, a proud and dedicated California farmer, plus state and national farm leader who stood tall for the industry on drought and other issues, passed away June 17, 2016 after a bout with cancer.
Watte operated his family farm called George Watte & Sons (George was Mark’s father). Mark grew cotton, alfalfa, triticale and corn for silage, black-eyed peas, pistachios, plus operated a 1,000 Jersey-cow dairy at Tulare....More
Surface irrigation sometimes gets a bad rap, and a representative of a pioneering Australian-based company out to automate gravity fed systems pointed this out at a rare presentation on improving efficiency of various forms of flood irrigation.
“The irrigation industry in general, with the exception of the people in this room, if you tell them you want to maximize efficiency with drip irrigation, they’ll put you on their shoulders and throw money at you,” said Alan Jackson, area manager for Rubicon Water....More
To guarantee that an alfalfa crop has adequate soil moisture during the hot season growers should start monitoring soil moisture well before summer begins.
A challenge with using drip irrigation in alfalfa fields is to keep soil moisture levels stable during the typically hot and dry months. Planning and keeping track of deep moisture requirements during the summer can help growers reap profits from yield increases....More
Over the last several months, some people inside and outside of agriculture have been concerned over the sale of alfalfa farms in Vicksburg, Ariz. and near Blythe, Calif. to the dairy company Almarai of Saudi Arabia.
The issue was fueled in part by general media reports which played up the point that some Arizona and California alfalfa, grown with local and regional water supplies in generally dry, arid conditions over time, is exported to other countries....More
While California alfalfa acreage has declined in recent years largely tied to drought, the forage crop in Arizona is gaining in acreage, yield, and respect.
Barry Tickes pegs Arizona alfalfa acreage at 300,000 acres. Add another 35,000 acres in other hays to bring the state’s total forage production acreage to about 335,000 acres....More
Last year the California Association of Food Banks’ (CAFB) Farm to Family program received a record 150 million pounds of donated produce from the state’s farmers and packers. That’s 75,000 tons of food that otherwise would have gone to waste because markets did not want it....More
As a tribute to David Letterman and his popular Top 10 lists, let me present my own Top 10 list - the marketing mistakes farmers make. This comes from a 29-year career as a marketing consultant. (I will save the Top 10 mistakes marketing advisors tend to make for another time).
See if any of these apply to you....More
The alfalfa crowd gathered at the Arizona Alfalfa and Forage Workshop held in March was quizzed by University of Arizona staff about their chemical use to control pests in alfalfa fields. Participants included growers, pest control advisors, members of the agricultural industry, and others.
When asked about how they decide when to use an insecticide to control the Egyptian alfalfa weevil (EAW), 37 percent said their decision was based on the threshold level, 29 percent did not treat with an insecticide, and 14 percent sprayed for the weevil when spraying for aphids....More
More than 40 percent of the alfalfa hay in the U.S. is produced in less than a dozen western states, with Arizona and California playing a prominent role in cultivating the important cash and rotation crop.
Improved alfalfa production and ways to reduce production costs were discussed at the Arizona Alfalfa and Forage Crops Workshop at the University of Arizona (UA) Maricopa Agricultural Center....More
El Niño-related rain and snow falls last fall, winter, and early this spring have been on the sporadic side. Yet we should be (and are) thankful for the fallen moisture from the heavens. The Pacific Ocean-based warmer water phenomenon tossed more than a couple of buckets of rain and snow at California and Arizona – both facing severe drought....More
At 9 a.m. this Tuesday morning (Feb. 9), the gates to World Ag Expo - the world’s largest annual exposition - will open to welcome a potential crowd of 100,000 attendees over the farm show’s three-day run at the International Agri-Center (IAC) in Tulare, Calif.
While it appears Mother Nature will put smiles on the faces of exhibitors and attendees with sunny to partly cloudy skies in the forecast, it still might be a good idea to throw a poncho and boots in the truck, as attendees at previous farm shows can attest....More
Utilizing a variety of financial tools and estate planning techniques, a family may significantly mitigate the estate tax and minimize transfer costs.
Q: Should we establish an LLC for our family farming business?...More