Ag Policy Blog
Chris Clayton DTN Ag Policy Editor

Monday 07/21/14

Life is a Highway Full of Bumps and Detours
Route 66, for all its tourism and historic lore, is a battered, forgotten road in many areas in every state I have toured thus far. There doesn't seem to be a quick remedy for that anytime soon. Members of Congress are a bit more concerned about simply making the Highway Trust Fund cash flow through the current election cycle rather than look at any kind of road or infrastructure program that would create a lasting fix to protect some of the country's roads from crumbling further.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:53PM CDT 07/21/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Thursday 07/17/14

AFBF not Impressed by EPA Reaction to Ag Concerns
American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a statement Thursday that the industry's attempts to reach out to EPA officials have been unsuccessful on many of the issues of concern for agriculture in the proposed Clean Water Act rule.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:41AM CDT 07/17/14 by Todd Neeley | Post a Comment
Comments (8)
This is really serious. I hope farmers are writing their representatives and commenting during the comment period.
Posted by Unknown at 1:44PM CDT 07/17/14
I've already sent my comment. Farmers should consider how onerous permitting would be. Mother Nature doesn't take a two or three day vacation every week like the permitting office would. Worst of all, imagine that you need to apply additional nitrogen fertilizer (wet weather caused too much loss) and the government permitting office closes down indefinitely due to lack of budget appropriations.
Posted by Curt Zingula at 6:22AM CDT 07/18/14
Where was AFB when the EPA was promoting the SPCC rules to get fuel containment dikes built on farms? The language supporting that rule was essentially what they are now promoting. Oh, yeah -- AFB developed a consultants package to charge farmers to develop SPCC plans! I asked my NDFB to oppose expansion of SPCC but they didn't. AFB and several states made money promoting SPCC. And just NOW they are finally getting around to opposing what they were once complicit in promoting?!
Posted by LeeFarms at 7:36AM CDT 07/18/14
I just finished reading Jerry's article about Conservation Groups ideas of the new CWA rules. When these groups view private land as there land (our wetlands) there are big problems. I would like to use others property as I wish but that would be unconstitutional and against other various laws. Clearly they want to make rules they don't have to live by them. The waterfowl numbers are at all time highs yet these groups say wetlands are being lost, the facts just don't add up. In South Dakota alone the goose population is so high there is a call to shoot a 50 bird daily limit. Surely this doesn't sound like conservation to me. Habit control should be one of the first things to look at instead of a massacre. Obviously there are too many wetlands. The waterfowl numbers state the facts, wetlands have actually become bigger and more plentiful than ever the data backs it up. The CWA was implemented to reduce harmful high concentrations of contaminants in navigable waters. Many cities are directly discharging untreated storm sewer drainage currently with permits. The rural farmers are now the minority and are falsely being accused of all of the water problems yet not much public outcry for the linear foot pollution rate of cities. If wetlands are truly more valuable than cropland, which these groups and now the EPA are stating, then the landowners with these wetlands need to be compensated fairly, that means at values higher than that of the most valuable cropland around. That is not happening. This is a takings. This is a violation of the 5th amendment. Farmers and farm groups have always worked to do the best we can and have worked with conservation groups, but clearly these groups are over stepping the line. They are beginning to help pass policy that is leading to condemnation of private cropland. This will lead this nation to higher food costs and threatened our food independence as a country.
Posted by Unknown at 5:07PM CDT 07/18/14
I will also add that this has been all been put together by these groups starting with adding wetland compliance to crop insurance in the farm bill. Now you add in the EPA ruling and you stop all new drainage and give people in not only the EPA but also NRCS extreme regulatory power. The fines and pay backs of crop insurance subsides will break any farm. You could be drowning with a torrential rain and be forced to drown, YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION TO SAVE YOURSELF! Don't believe me, ask producers in northeast South Dakota. There is no justice or liberty with rules like this limiting private property rights. When the public has more rights on your property than the land owner has we have lost what it means to be the United States and what all of the soldiers of this country have fought for.
Posted by Unknown at 10:28PM CDT 07/18/14
I will also add that this has been all been put together by these groups starting with adding wetland compliance to crop insurance in the farm bill. Now you add in the EPA ruling and you stop all new drainage and give people in not only the EPA but also NRCS extreme regulatory power. The fines and pay backs of crop insurance subsides will break any farm. You could be drowning with a torrential rain and be forced to drown, YOU WILL BE IN VIOLATION TO SAVE YOURSELF! Don't believe me, ask producers in northeast South Dakota. There is no justice or liberty with rules like this limiting private property rights. When the public has more rights on your property than the land owner has we have lost what it means to be the United States and what all of the soldiers of this country have fought for.
Posted by Unknown at 10:28PM CDT 07/18/14
Around here the bigger the farmer the more they disk the waterways and soil erosion is rampant .No regs . no crop ins. subsidies.
Posted by melvin meister at 10:07AM CDT 07/21/14
Melvin sounds to me that your addressing HEL issues not wetland issues. I stick to my words.
Posted by Unknown at 7:36PM CDT 07/21/14
 

Wednesday 07/16/14

Bumper Crop 2014 Crop Would Put ARC in Spotlight
Gary Schnitkey at the University of Illinois wrote Tuesday at farmdocdaily that right now corn is looking at a 2014 market year average somewhere in the range of $3.65 to $4.35 a bushel. Under the new farm programs that will be rolled out later this fall, Schnitkey calculated that such price levels could mean ARC payments for Illinois farmers anywhere in the range of $77 per acre to $10 per acre at those price levels. A 200-bushel county average at $3.65 a bushel market-year average could still generate a $45 per acre payment.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 8:42AM CDT 07/16/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (3)
Ok,now how about the areas were things aren;t so great.Here in sc minnesota,the crops are behind,yellow,drowned out..how are these programs going to work in these areas.
Posted by TERRY PIOSKE at 10:42PM CDT 07/16/14
Mr. Pioske, Eastern Will County ( Illinois) is experiencing the same as South Central Mn. In fact we may have the worst corn in decades. Thirteen to Nineteen inches of rain in June. Rain makes for stunted corn (NOT GRAIN)
Posted by W Lee Deutsche at 10:28AM CDT 07/17/14
I unterstand what your saying,started out at 15 renting some land from my dad,40 yrs later,this is my worst crops by far.In these places of bad crops,i guess our voices can;t be heard,,,but we could debate whos is worst,but with a normal frost date it;ll be us,lol,,good luck to you and your family Mr Deutsche.
Posted by TERRY PIOSKE at 4:19PM CDT 07/17/14
 

Monday 07/14/14

House Continues to Wrestle with Waters of the United States
House Republicans continue to modify the Obama administration's proposed plan to define the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act via the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:57PM CDT 07/14/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (2)
Good report Chris .Everybody needs to take care of the water quality in this country. No shirkers please.
Posted by melvin meister at 11:58AM CDT 07/15/14
It is nice to see the House is looking into the abusive powers. The EPA willingness to write their own laws and bypassing congress is crazy. To make a regulation more stringent than it was and in the prior form was deemed excessive by the Supreme Court is quite troubling. What a continued waste of taxpayers dollars and time. It is time for gov't accountability. Local problems need to be solved locally, that is why there are local governments.
Posted by Unknown at 3:39PM CDT 07/15/14
 

Thursday 07/10/14

White House Opposes Bonus Depreciation Bill
The House of Representatives could debate and vote Friday on a bill to permanently extend 50% tax deductions for business expenses, or "bonus depreciation."[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:21PM CDT 07/10/14 by Todd Neeley | Post a Comment
Comments (8)
Why is it that the government is all for throwing stimulus money out there, which some make its way to the private sector, but don't want money going directly to the benefit of private business which actually stimulates the economy?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 3:32PM CDT 07/14/14
Well business is doing very well now, have you seen the stock market? Rich are getting richer and richer,,, still waiting for your trickle down Craig??
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 4:04PM CDT 07/14/14
Because I work on Main Street, yes I am still waiting for it to show up. And when they cut all federal donations to Wall Street, $45 billion per month now, then we will find out the real status of the market. And last week when they added 288,000 jobs 275,000 of them we part time. Yea, it's getting better. And really, I don't understand why Obama has all those people trying to help him out as all he would have to do is bring Jay to DC as he has all the answers. And it isn't too far from White Hall to DC is it Jay?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:34AM CDT 07/15/14
No it isn't far Craig but you might have a long time waiting for your "trickle down" which is a failed policy of the GOP.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:19AM CDT 07/16/14
That's because Obama is tossing it all to HIS fat cat friends, which is why he has attended almost twice as many fund raisers than the last pres. And how much does a farmer have to spend to get $320,00 in commodity subsidies?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:17AM CDT 07/16/14
Jay?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:19AM CDT 07/17/14
How much does a farmer pay back after he gets a $19,000 grant to get a more efficient grain dryer? Jay should be able to answer this one. Jay?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 9:14AM CDT 07/18/14
Jay, I know you are coming back to see what I got for you. Care to answer?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 10:36AM CDT 07/21/14
 

Wednesday 07/09/14

Amendments Blocked on Sportsmen's Bill
The "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act" on Wednesday appeared to be a butting of heads that could potentially derail the bill.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:19PM CDT 07/09/14 by Todd Neeley | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Tuesday 07/08/14

McCarthy Hint on Direction of RFS?
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy reiterated her previous statements that the Renewable Fuel Standard 2014 volumes would be released "soon," during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. But this time she may have provided a hint about where EPA is going with the law.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:20AM CDT 07/08/14 by Todd Neeley | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 07/07/14

EPA Chief Headed to Show-Me State
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is taking a road trip to Missouri later this week to "meet with farmers, stakeholders and agribusiness leaders to discuss Waters of the US, a proposed rule that clarifies and protects our nations' waters under the Clean Water Act."[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:02PM CDT 07/07/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (2)
A retired, sociologist, Not very logical to retire and go farming. I have nothing against doing the best that we can in the ag profession, but I often wonder how many of the enviro influencers could actually make a living producing food.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:29AM CDT 07/08/14
Clearly these new rules overreach 5th amendment rights along with overstepping congress. Why aren't they meeting with farmers in the "Praire Pothole Region", obviously this is a ploy to stop all drainage in that region with wetland compliance, and now the new EPA rules they will "condemn our cropland". We just celebrated Independence Day, where did the Independence go? Meeting with hobby farmers is a joke and shows how serious they are about listening to our needs. They said when they passed wetland compliance for crop insurance in the farm bill there where only 2 or 3 producers out of compliance in the nation and now where I live since passing there are all time record wetland violations with the signing of a pen but supposedly no rules have changed. Crazy!!! A bill built on lies!!! The EPA step will be the final step in closing drainage, making it impossible to get approvals by overloading you with a time consuming, costly permit process in which they can deny you if they feel like it. Look what's happening with the IRS, VA, EPA, NRCS the list goes on and on. These government should never have this much power or control no matter which party is in power. When they name Czars as heads of these government entities what does that tell you? The word Czar doesn't sound like, justice, liberty, freedom or due process to me, what does it sound like to you?
Posted by Unknown at 8:04AM CDT 07/08/14
 

Wednesday 07/02/14

Nebraskans Question FSA Livestock Disaster Payment Formula
Nebraska's congressional delegation has written Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to request a change in the way Farm Service Agency calculates disaster payments under the Livestock Indemnity Program.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 4:04PM CDT 07/02/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Tuesday 07/01/14

Finding My Kicks on Route 66
Sometime in the mired five-year rigmarole of the farm bill, I decided I needed to break away from covering agriculture through political spats and the committee rooms of Washington, D.C., and rediscover a little bit of rural America in the process. So I hatched the idea of cruising down the remains of U.S. Route 66 and taking a look at the history, the towns and different kinds of agriculture and farming businesses along the route.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 2:58PM CDT 07/01/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Monday 06/30/14

Ag Leaders Question Next Steps on Immigration Reform
Leaders in agriculture who have worked on immigration reform questioned Monday what actions the Obama administration might take on its own.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 5:15PM CDT 06/30/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (2)
I am always amazed on how many think they are all going to stay in ag when they get amnesty. Let's see how many drop the hoe and butcher knife, move to town and take jobs away from lazy whites and blacks. They will work harder for less and put their families on government subsides and live happily ever after. Does anyone remember what happened in '86?
Posted by CRAIG MOORE at 8:37AM CDT 07/01/14
If he will not enforce the law now, why would he enforce something he does not care for in a reformed law. The problem will still be present. I have not read of anyone opposing "legal immigration". Our fearless leaders actions continue. Kind of like Obamma Care. Force everyone to have insurance defined by the government. Then start granting exemptions to the criers with the biggest wallet.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:07AM CDT 07/05/14
 

Friday 06/27/14

Business Groups Want Quick Action on COOL
A coalition of agribusiness and manufacturing groups wrote House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders on Thursday calling for Congress to act quickly on any World Trade Organization rule that goes against the U.S. on country of origin labeling.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 12:24PM CDT 06/27/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Thursday 06/26/14

Conservation Agriculture: Moon Shot or Forced Change is Coming
Conservation agriculture needs a "moon shot." That would require the country to rally behind a determined push to reach a higher standard of overall conservation agricultural practices, much like John Kennedy declared the country would get to the moon by the end of the 1960s.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 7:17AM CDT 06/26/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (26)
Chris, why are you pushing an agenda. When the media has given such credibility to people like Buffet who "bought their way in" leads us to question the credibility of yourself and the media in general. When writing articles like this criticizing the Beltway Farmers who have farmed their land for many generations and their property rights is terrible. You do not address the cities storm sewer dumping of road salts and all of the city lagoons in the flood plains of the rivers. I take it you live in a city and are yourself impervious to rules of these kinds or truly don't understand them. You have pushed an anti-drainage farm bill with great inequities and now are pushing an anti-drainage EPA proposal. Without drainage there will be no no-till, no cover cropping, because you will not be able to get on the land. Water submerging cropland destroys the good bacteria in the land. Why don't you start writing articles stating the benefits of drainage. It all starts with good soil drainage any good soil scientist will tell you that, drainage is the foundation of good soil management.
Posted by Unknown at 8:21AM CDT 06/26/14
Seems strange to me individuals like Buffet, who do not walk the talk can receive so much attention. As far as conservation practices of food producers, where are such things as tillage practices the same as 50 or 75 years ago. Strange how when buffalo, then cattle were drinking out of the lakes, there was not an issue. Now with all the impaired waters with shorelines filled with docks, without insects on them, every 75 or 100 feet and golf course landscaping, completely around the lake, it is the farmers fault.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 10:54AM CDT 06/26/14
Howard Buffet is a leader in ag? When did this happen? He farms 400 acres of Pivots with a new 4wd tractor pulling a 16 row 3 bushel boxed equipped planter all while talking about cover crops and stuff but when I saw the video he posted there was no cover crop residue!! Howard should stick to his other job that he has as an advisor to Barack Obama. Oh wait Obama is showing how great he is at pretty much nothing and he surrounds himself with yuppies like Buffet. Give me a break. You calling Howard a leader totally buries your stuff deeper on my to read list. COme visit us real farmers who deal with drainage issues and spend less time patting EWG on the back. Because of the lack of drainage in the Dakotas people are moving away from no till because the only weapon we have against water is cold hard steel. Don't give me all these other excuses because we have tried them. Behind either surface drainage or subsurface nothing works when its too wet to get in the field all year. It is so easy to farm and tell everyone what to do when you don't have to do it yourself or make money yourself since your grandpa is the Bufffet who acts so nice but in the end is an abortion funding, miser who only wants more money.
Posted by Roger Neshem at 8:59PM CDT 06/26/14
I wonder how many of Buffets locomotives run on solar power and how many of his bridges have retaining capabilities like farmers fuel tank requirements. Don't see too many cover crops, but a lot of chemicals on R.R. tracks.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 9:11PM CDT 06/26/14
Heck Buffet doesn't even haul grains on those train cars anymore just basically all oil. THey didn't even want to disclose how much oil they are hauling. Oh and how convenient we cant get a pipeline built and the person with the presidents ear owns a railroad. Hmmm now if he weren't a liberal what would the media scream about every day?????? Its so good to know Howard Buffet has the presidents ear and is saying USDA needs to be more "forceful". Gee that sounds like a government for the people by the people then again it sounds more like the status quo for the most corrupt administration ever......when the real reporting is done and the dirt is all dug up. Little Buffet should take his money and his mouth elsewhere. After all Liberals don't seem to like free speech whenever someone opposes them.
Posted by Roger Neshem at 9:34PM CDT 06/26/14
These test tube farm practices don't work in the real world and certainly don't work with anti-drainage policy. It's definitely is a moon shot, when we got there there was nothing there. Trying to promote cover crops that become weeds to the crops that are going to be grown actually promotes more chemical use in a time of chemical resistance and more tillage and cultivation to kill the cover crop . That will be the end of notill. To make this a mandatory practice is crazy!
Posted by Unknown at 9:46PM CDT 06/26/14
My farm has been 100% no till for over 25 years, very high yields and I have built terraces and water ways in order to fight erosion. It is great to see minimal wash after the serious storms this year. It is great to have an administration that has vision and respect for the environment and I am happy to participate in soil conservation along with clean energy and less fossil fuels, it is the 21st century, we are the wealthiest nation and one to set example for the world instead of crying we can't have dirty air and dirty water like the Chinese.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 9:49PM CDT 06/26/14
Jay, we are the wealthiest nation in the world. Why? Your hero, Pres. Obama, wants us to be more like the Chinese you seem to condemn with their powerful central government. Perhaps you need to really think about what you are saying!
Posted by CARLYLE CURRIER at 11:02PM CDT 06/26/14
Think what I am saying? I am DOING what I am saying, no-till, terraces, waterways, rotations, solar farming, geothermal heat pump, electric car and lawn mower,,,,, far from being Chinese who's cities are a GOP wet dream with smog so dense you can't see from no regulations! If Obama wanted us to be more like China he would join the Tea Party! If you don't want regulations then do what is proper, you have an obligation to society and future generations to NOT send your farm down the river, to NOT waste our energy and resources, to NOT change the climate! If you guys had any respect for the environment and future generations then you wouldn't need regulations!
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 7:04AM CDT 06/27/14
Good answer Jay;Some people must think we are the last people to live on earth Conservation is everyone"s job .Thanks Chris for the post.
Posted by melvin meister at 7:19AM CDT 06/27/14
Jay you say you have made "water ways", you must not live in the Dakota's, you would be thrown out of compliance. Sounds like your being treated differently than us or we are being treated differently. When you give these head of organizations such great power and no accountability it leads to abuse of power. I'm glad to hear things are great in your perfect world but I think many agree things aren't so perfect everywhere.
Posted by Unknown at 7:33AM CDT 06/27/14
Dear neo - cons & Bonnie: Sounds like the concept of any change is quite unsettling. Life is tough - wear a helmet
Posted by Don Thompson at 7:47AM CDT 06/27/14
Don are you telling me to prepare for a wreak?
Posted by Unknown at 9:28AM CDT 06/27/14
I thought the subject matter was Buffet and his ignorance. Sorry to disappoint a couple of you. Our farm is only tilled as needed. No recreational tillage here. Been planting cover crops before many of you even heard of such a thing. They, however, are not the magic bullet in all situations. Why change, Don for the sake of change? Unbiased research and trial error are what is needed. Not Buffets propaganda, nor Obamas' politics.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 10:06AM CDT 06/27/14
Dear Unknown: One being's disaster is another's opportunity - or at least I think that is what Darwin would have argued. Reality is in the eyes of the beholder. Bonnie, From my personal observation, every successful organization or organism is consumed by change. Always seeking the best alternatives. Some less successful must be forced to do so whether through a positive or negative motivation. You appeared to have already discovered what works for you and are steadfast in your opinion. Bravo. My father always graciously said the university types were always just a little behind the farmers. Let's just let them play through and assess objectively.
Posted by Don Thompson at 10:20AM CDT 06/27/14
Don: Local problems should be decided locally, people dealing with problems should be a majority of decision making. These one size fits all solutions without any input from the people that are going to be affected by the new rules isn't working and surely isn't realistic or workable. If it works people, will openly use the new tools of conservation. They should not be rammed down peoples throats with mandatory rules that violate 5th amendment rights. When people talk about forced changed that should raise concern.
Posted by Unknown at 10:39AM CDT 06/27/14
Unknown: Kindly define local. If your area of operation is worldwide than you would consider the earth as local. If you are pumping manure down a drainage tile in the upper reaches of the Mississippi drain system and the sea life in the Yucatan are suffering from the effects of it, then your local is messing with their local. Hence, someone other than your local has to step in to solve their local issue. Makes sense to me. If you are the upstream pumper, you may feel put upon. And you may indeed want to be conscious of your 5th amendment rights when the authorities come knocking.
Posted by Don Thompson at 2:00PM CDT 06/27/14
Don: Where do you flush your toilet? Where is that lagoon, in the flood plain of a river?
Posted by Unknown at 5:39PM CDT 06/27/14
Hey don! We are no till and have been a long time. The only thing we are trying to change is drainage. We had not done much and now we are trying to tile and the nrcs makes it impossible. We don't lose soil we just are too wet! I'd be willing to bet my farm is a better example of conservation than yours. Obviously all your land has tile already and that is not an issue for you. Maybe walk a mile in the persons shoes you are trying to tell what to do before you open your mouth. Maybe we can follow Obama plan to be a poor society so that we can worship these politicians that you seem to selince you don't believe in yourself. Maybe we can get to Venezuelans level of socialism someday. Heard they went dark. That would be great so I wouldn't have to see the stuff the idiotic left puts out daily.
Posted by Roger Neshem at 10:04PM CDT 06/27/14
Roger Neshem as a 6 year former employee of EWG I can clearly state that Chris spends little time patting that org on the back. In this blog he is doing a great service to farmers getting the message out that the current pollution load into US waters is unsustainable. Eventually if things don't change regulation will be the only option.
Posted by Donald Carr at 6:12AM CDT 06/28/14
Roger Neshem, Why does NRCS make it impossible for you to install drainage tile? How about some facts? Exactly what are the objections? We work within the framework presented and are frustrated often and succeed with our plans for the most part but I know nothing of your condition. But I would truly like to see your NRCS opinion before I make judgement. Could you post it for us?
Posted by Don Thompson at 6:48AM CDT 06/28/14
I try not to get into a debate. Sorry for participating. But Jay, your last entry, I agree with much, except the GOP reference. The conservatives you so seem to despise have done and are doing some of what you claim to have done because they have a conscience and conservation is the correct thing to do. Many accomplishments without the generosity of the taxpayer. Those who support mandates, might do so for emotional gratification and perhaps job security within whatever activity they are involved in. The worst smog you blame GOP for, like in LA and Chicago are certainly not GOP strongholds. And yes, we cooperate with Soil & Water, NRCS as well as Extension with activities which are of benefit to the landscape. And yes, if the government sends me a check, I CASH it, so have at it EWGers.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 7:51AM CDT 06/28/14
Well don look at old determinations that do not show all the wetlands we have now. We have been in a wet cycle here and things are very wet. My county is all no till and this past year due to excessive pp people turned away from no till to dry out ground. Ditches were black everywhere this winter because we had to do something to dry out the ground. I am all about saving soil but a person needs to do what he needs to do in order to get a crop planted. You want compromise let us tile and in return we will be notill all the time!!! The EPA does not fret about .1 acre wetlands but usda does. Maybe the usda should just follow CWA and then all these nuisance wet areas we could tile without nrcs as 90% of them do not meet current CWA guidelines. How about that for compromise don??? Ask any farmer what wildlife benfits from .1 acre wetlands that appear after heavy June rains??? The ducks don't as they have hatched and moved to big water after they nested in no till wheat stubble! We have land that is littered with these things and the mitigation process takes more land than what you tile so it's not a very good trade. I had a wetland determination don that took 2.5 years in a county where so far about 2 of us have installed drainage tile! Now you tell me is 2.5 years an acceptable timeframe for work to get done? I would call that a hindrance to tiling. Maybe you don't but I do and everyone who walks this ground out here does also. Our soils are heavy which leads to having high cec levels which keeps our nitrogen in our soil not in our tile lines so you can cross that environmental concern off your list. We direct band all of our phosphorus so it does not leave in surface runoff. So when you talk about all these problems do not lump us up here in with others. It shows your ignorance and incompetence. If you wish to see land managed poor look to mr buffets bnsf. The drainage issues, salt, chemical and pesticide pollution caused by their railroad dwarfs anything us farmers do. Our ground along the railroad will not grow anything because of pesticide run off from weed control on the railroad tracks. They have neglected the drains on the railroads and it has led to ponding and salinity issues where there should not be any. Come to ND and see for yourself who the destroyer of the soil and environment is. Me or buffet? I do everything I can to make my ground better. It is my life and my passion. I know more about my every acre of my land than you will ever know about your yard where you call home. Us folks in ND need to start forming groups and collecting hundreds of millions of dollars and then telling the east coast what they should do. It is almost tyrannical the way these out of state groups have come in here with unlimited caches of dollars trying to write policy. My disdain grows for them more daily as I see and read what they do and how they do it. None of them will ever visit this state but they sure love to tell us how to run it. I invite them all to spend 10 straight years here and if they do then they can have a say in policy. Until then enjoy your east coast and all the trash that comes with it. Ewg is located in Washington, D.C. I'd suggest you clean up the trash there before trying to "fix" other areas. If I were the redskins I'd be offended to have Washington attached to my name. Ewg loves to hate on crop insurance subsidies. I don't like them one bit either. I am all in favor of doing away with those subsidies and programs. The problem is then the government would hold no authority over the farms and that is very very bad in the minds of the left and the ewg. We could deal with the EPA and CWA as it is today as 90% of our wet areas do not fall under CWA! My question is would the ewg stop attacks at farmers of everyone was no till and subsidies were abolished? My guess is they wouldn't as they have an unlimited thirst for power and money. I would love to share all of my private land dealings with you but an Internet comments section is the last place for that. As they say an argument on the Internet has no winner. As I have posted on the past around these parts I have an open invite to anyone who wants to come out and ill show you these problems I speak of and you will get an education in just how wrong your policies are.
Posted by Roger Neshem at 9:49AM CDT 06/28/14
You are right on Roger, nobody understands our problems in the Dakotas, you are not alone. We are behind in drainage development and are having the door slammed closed on us. I would challenge anyone of these guys that have all of their farm drained try to make things work in our conditions. They need to walk in our shoes! We should be entitled to the same tools as everyone else in the country.
Posted by Unknown at 10:27AM CDT 06/28/14
Good grief, Don. Crop nutrients are much to valuable and needed for human and animal production. Manure down the drain tile, you must have been visiting a doggie park drain.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 3:57PM CDT 06/28/14
Very cute comment, Bonnie. However, I was referencing an actual incident that was taking place at a cafo not so far away and long ago from here. Apparently they did not hold pig manure in such esteem as you. Too bad a few bad actors make it difficult for others.
Posted by Don Thompson at 2:11PM CDT 06/29/14
 

Monday 06/23/14

Talks Continue Over Brazilian Cotton Payments
U.S. and Brazilian government and cotton industry officials are continuing talks aimed at mitigating alleged economic harm caused by U.S. cotton programs.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 10:47PM CDT 06/23/14 by Chris Clayton | 0 Comments | Post a Comment
 

Wednesday 06/18/14

Rupert Murdoch: Congress Should Act on Immigration Reform
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch called on Republicans to pass immigration reform in an op-ed posted Wednesday in the Wall Street Journal, one of Murdoch's U.S. media outlets.[Read Full Blog Post]
Posted at 8:56PM CDT 06/18/14 by Chris Clayton | Post a Comment
Comments (10)
What an odd alliance driven by greed! Democrats salivate over millions of new voters that will presumably vote in favor of them. Ag and business interests see a pool of low wage workers they can hire to avoid paying wages that families can actually live on. Meanwhile, we the people support millions of non-working people through unemployment, food stamps and easy to qualify for disability payments. Expanding the number of low wage guest workers will do nothing to reduce the number of un or under employed. Simple economics says that if you raise the supply, in this case of labor, you reduce the price - wages. Subsidize something and you get more of it - in this case people not working. The left is very successful at painting those against immigration and amnesty as racist, but the reality is deportation and closing the borders is the best economic route to take for the average American. I feel sorry for those who would be hurt by such a policy, but in reality they shouldn't be here.
Posted by David Kessler at 8:53AM CDT 06/19/14
David Kessler Such an insulting and uncalled for comment from all perspectives. Who exactly is David Kessler to say "we the people"? WE the people have veterans and active duty troops on food stamps and/or unemployment and disability benefits. How does that jive with your comments? I hope you are not a "farmer" complaining about spending on government programs.
Posted by Don Thompson at 7:26AM CDT 06/20/14
Are some on the correct page or article? The analogy of Mr. Kessler nor the article itself refers to veterans or veteran benefits. The subject matter is illegal immigration and the related issues.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 12:53PM CDT 06/20/14
Obviously illegal immigration has been a hot topic since the first crossed illegally here in 1492. How far back should the GOP go in their deportations?
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 8:36PM CDT 06/22/14
Mr. Thompson, I thank anyone who served our country in the military, and obviously if they suffered a disability in service to the country we owe them care and a living, something we have not done well. If we have active duty troops on food stamps, shame on us for not supporting our men and women on duty to provide them and their families with a decent standard of living. I don't quite understand why active duty troops would get unemployment benefits. My point was we are supporting more people than ever who do not work and pay taxes. Bringing in millions of new immigrants will make it even harder to find jobs for these unemployed folks, most of whom I believe do want to work but can't find jobs that pay a decent wage. Creating a huge new pool of workers to take substandard wage jobs will do nothing to raise the wages for those jobs to living wage levels. My point was the ag and business interests want these workers so they can continue to pay $7 - $10 per hour instead of the $15 to $20 per hour it would take to give workers a living wage. Also, for clarity, I raise livestock and the only federal government money I have received is for conservation programs. It consisted of funds to fence off and remove cattle from riparian areas. As for Mr. McGinnis, the difference now is our economy is only growing at a very low rate. While I don't think that there were laws against folks coming here in 1492 so it could not have been illegal, although Native Americans, which I am part, wish it had been, the reality is that we needed immigrants in the past because we had a vast country growing at an extremely fast rate. There was not an unemployed population to call on to take the jobs that needed to be done. Your comment offends me because it hints that those who are against immigration are racist while what I am trying to show is that there are solid economic reasons why now is not the time for bringing new people into the country.
Posted by David Kessler at 11:38AM CDT 06/23/14
I agree Mr. Kessler, how unfortunate, so many are governed by emotional rhetoric, rather than practical, intelligent thought.
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 5:46PM CDT 06/23/14
I can not see anything in my previous post that hints at racism, maybe you expect to be seen that way being in your position? 1492 there were no laws, you are right and without any form of government oversight an entire people were massacred, raped, diseased and pushed of their land by a group of people that believed they worshipped a superior god and therefor permitted by divine province to cause such a genocide. There were no laws to be broken but what about morality? I am not for "open borders" but this country has a serious problem and it is not being fixed by the "party of no".
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 10:34PM CDT 06/23/14
Good thing for the rest of the world, Spains' predominant presence was South of the Rio Grande. Queen Isabella was certainly not the Virgin Mary. Cortez would have made the modern day Dictators appear to be cream puffs. Where in the world, Jay, did what you describe not happen?
Posted by Bonnie Dukowitz at 6:04AM CDT 06/24/14
Mr. Kessler, It is a shame that many of our troops are on assistance and it has been that way for awhile. By the way, many of those troops are non-US citizens putting their lives on the line so "real Americans" can have their 1st Amendment rights to condemn them being here. Let me remind you that your non subsidized cattle or hogs are eating or were eating tons of subsidized grains and traveling to market on government infrastructure. We have millions of immigrants here now. Give us a "reasonable" solution. Bonnie, I think a brush up on your Spanish historical influence may be in order. How does a comparison of past bad actors affect our decision on current immigration policy? Do we need to readdress the crusades versus current Islamic phobia?
Posted by Don Thompson at 7:57AM CDT 06/24/14
Very good Don, I agree with you except that non-US citizen troops are fighting for our 1st amendment, they are in fact fighting for oil, nothing else and sadly the fact that the "all volunteer" army exists and is made up of people "earning" citizenship allows such wars as Iraq to go on for decades. Had that army been of drafted US citizens that war would never had happened or at least been over with years ago. "The Troops" are no longer the same guys that the Right imagine them to be, ironically they are cheering on the people they want to deport.
Posted by Jay Mcginnis at 6:45AM CDT 06/25/14
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Recent Blog Posts
  • Life is a Highway Full of Bumps and Detours
  • AFBF not Impressed by EPA Reaction to Ag Concerns
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