Industry News | 3-22-2021

Robotic Success in Specialty Crops has Row Crop Crossover

The specialty crop industry’s expansion of robotics is laying the groundwork for alternative management options which could help row crop farmers reduce labor costs and inputs. Weed extension specialist Steve Fennimore at the University of California, Davis works on weed control and robotics in about four dozen different types of specialty crops. “We can reduce the labor input per acre between 35 and 50 percent,” he estimates. He says that can be a significant amount when considering hand weeding costs $300-500 per acre and there continues to be a declining number of farm workers.
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Meet GoodSport, the Sports Drink Brought to you by Dairy Cows

An innovative sports drink has entered the ring — and it’s made from milk. That’s right. GoodSport, which launched in February, is a first-of-a-kind natural sports drink that’s 97 percent dairy. Besides being hydrating and nutritious, the beverage also swoops in to utilize milk permeate, a byproduct of the ultrafiltration process and gives it a new life. This fascinating concept is now a full-fledged product and may soon be competing alongside other sports drink giants.
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Farmers Gather Information on New Market for Carbon Storage

Farmers today are talking about carbon sequestration as a way to make additional income. Not long ago, it was just a concept to many. But more than half of the farmers attending a webinar hosted by the Illinois Soybean Association on March 9 said they see themselves participating in the new carbon market within 12 to 24 months. In a poll of participants at the webinar, 58% of farmers said they expected they might join the market within the next year or two. “That’s amazing,” said Steve Cubbage, vice president of data services at Farmobile, an independent farm data company, in reaction to the interest shown by farmers.
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U.S. Rice Exports, Among Other Commodities, Plagued by COVID-19 Shipping Woes

Agricultural transportation disruptions continue to persist here and in the Gulf of Mexico due to widespread container and port crew shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is leaving exporters reeling, while saddled with the burden of near-record shipping costs and logistical chaos. U.S. container shortages first started impacting shippers in early 2020, however, over the past several months, the issue has gotten progressively worse. A breadth of agricultural products, including meat, produce, and grain are feeling the negative effects of the backlog on containers, all while detention and demurrage fees, as well as other penalties, rack up.
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Texas Tops all U.S. States in Exports for 19th Consecutive Year

For nearly two decades, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, BEA, has ranked Texas as the No. 1 exporter among U.S. states. ”Texas shipped $279.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020,” said Luis Ribera, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist, Bryan-College Station. “The state outperformed all other states, with the value of its exports accounting for 19.5% of overall U.S. exported products for 2020.”
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