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  • No Change in Illinois Farm Real Estate Values for 2019
    Each year the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the USDA releases estimated average farm real estate values by state.  The estimates are based on surveys of farmers from selected geographical areas.  The surveys follow strict statistical guidelines.  Estimated values maybe…
  • Perspectives on 2019 Corn and Soybean Acres: Impact of Prevent Plant
    The Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released county acreages for crops and prevent plantings based on acreage reports filed by farmers. Even though prevent plant totaled 19 million acres in the United States, planted corn…

Agriculture News

’30 HARVESTS’ FILM DEBUT

The docudrama ’30 Harvests’ follows the plight of farmer Jay Hill of Dell City, Texas, and farmer and soil scientist Meagan Kaiser of Bowling Green, Missouri. In this film, they articulate the challenges farmers face while embracing the opportunity to meet the increasing demands to create sustainable food systems through the next 30 harvests, and ultimately help solve the greatest challenge of this generation: climate change. (USFRA)

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US-CHINA TALKS RESUME OVER PHONE

Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met over the phone Tuesday to negotiate, said President Donald Trump, who stressed the talks were “productive” and offered optimism that a conclusion could come soon. The Chinese officials took the opportunity to complain about Trump’s announcement two weeks ago to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 10 percent tariff. Some of those tariffs are scheduled to be levied on Sept. 1, but the Trump administration offered a surprise Tuesday when it announced that it is delaying tariffs on some of the Chinese products until Dec. 15. The officials are

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USDA DISASTER DECLARATION PROMISES RELIEF FOR ILLINOIS FARMERS

Struggling Illinois farmers are expecting some relief after the USDA declared a disaster in all 102 of the state’s counties. The declaration would give farmers and other agricultural businesses access to low-interest loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. “You never want to be declared a disaster area because that really means you have adverse conditions,” said Mark Tuttle, a farmer for the past 40 years in Somonauk, Illinois. “But the fact that the federal government is there, that’s a security blanket.” (WTTW)

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A BUDDING CROP: GROWING CANNABIS IS LABOR-INTENSIVE, EXPENSIVE TO START, BUT DOABLE

The star-shaped “cannabis sativa” is making the transition to commercial crop, now that the state has legalized hemp production and both medical and recreational marijuana use. Just how easy is it to grow? Growing industrial hemp is “not rocket science, but it takes a lot of effort and time and commitment,” said Andy Houston, a northwestern Illinois hemp producer and CEO of American Hemp Research. “It’s a lot more labor-intensive than most conventional farming is around here.” (News-Gazette)

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DURBIN SEEKS TO BOOST AG RESEARCH FUNDING

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced new legislation that would restore publicly funded agriculture research. Unveiling the America Grows Act at the Peoria County Farm Bureau last week, Durbin said the legislation would authorize a 5 percent annual funding increase for USDA during the next five years, or a total of $2 billion. (FarmWeekNow)

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USDA CROP REPORT SURPRISES TRADE

Corn futures prices tumbled Monday in the wake of USDA’s crop production report. The first survey-based forecast of the season pegs the national average corn yield at 169.5 bushels per acre, up 3.5 bushels from last month, with planted acres at 90 million. This represents just a 2 percent decline in corn acres despite historic planting delays caused by one of the wettest springs on record. “Corn production is forecast at 13.9 billion bushels, up 26 million from the July projection, as a decline in harvested acres is virtually offset by an increase in yield,” USDA noted in its report.

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