Industry News | 12-5-2022

Vermont’s Dairy Farms Recede, Giving Way to Shrimp, Saffron and New Ideas

There was a time when Vermont’s landscape was dotted with weathered red barns full of dairy cows, and every country store was chockablock with local maple syrup and candies. The barns are there still, as are their fading illustrations of cows, and the sugar maples still draw leaf peepers in the fall. But because of industry shifts and climate change, many of the cows are gone and the state’s biggest agricultural products are imperiled. The University of Vermont’s Climate Assessment 2021 found that the state’s average temperature has warmed by nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit and that precipitation has increased by an alarming 21 percent since 1900.
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Illinois Farmer Helps Others Navigate FSA Programs

Tim Berry will be taking 12 acres of his of land marked with gullies near a river tributary out of corn and putting it into the Conservation Reserve Program this year. The eastern Illinois farmer knows exactly how and why to use the USDA Farm Service Agency’s conservation program that will help prevent erosion and improve soil health. “If I didn’t we’d all be in trouble,” said Berry, who is part of a family farming operation in Champaign and Douglas counties that dates back to his great-great-grandfather. The reason he is so confident about knowing how FSA services work is because he has worked for the agency at either the state or county level for 36 years. When it comes to navigating FSA programs, he has experience on both sides, as a farmer and as an FSA service provider.
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Living to Serve: Branson FFA Volunteers Pack 12,848 Meals

The last line of the FFA motto, “Living to Serve,” signifies service’s vital role in the FFA Organization. For the Ozark Food Harvest, this time of year is pivotal in feeding 50,000 individuals per month. In Southwest Missouri, one in seven people is estimated to be food insecure, making this organization a cornerstone in bridging the gap between the fed and hungry in the area. When the food bank found itself short on volunteers, it reached out for help — and Branson FFA Chapter answered in spades.
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USDA Announces Permanent Status and Written Agreements Availability for Silage Sorghum Crop Insurance Coverage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is enhancing crop insurance for silage sorghum producers by converting the Silage Sorghum Pilot Endorsement to permanent and allowing written agreements. These changes will take effect beginning with the 2023 crop year. “The designation of the crop insurance endorsement for silage sorghum as a permanent policy and the ability to request written agreements will be welcome news for producers in the High Plains region,” said Collin Olsen, Director of Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Regional Office in Topeka. “Our producers will appreciate another risk management tool that can help them better manage their risk and protect them against unforeseen challenges.”
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Farm Equipment Mfgr LEMKEN Acquires Precision Farming Software Developer Track 32

Modern image recognition is becoming more and more prevalent in agriculture and enables at least partially autonomous machine use in many fields. However, this requires powerful cameras or sensors combined with intelligent algorithms. With its IC-Weeder AI, LEMKEN has already launched a hoeing machine which reliably distinguishes between sugar beets and weeds, even under high weed pressure. The relevant software was developed by the Dutch AgTech specialist Track32, in which LEMKEN has now acquired a holding. LEMKEN is therefore seizing the opportunity to develop technologies of the future in-house in collaboration with a competent partner.
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