Ken Root has been an agricultural reporter for 37 years. He grew up on a small farm in central Oklahoma and taught vocational agriculture as his first job after college at Oklahoma State University. He has worked in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa as a broadcaster. Root was the original host of AgriTalk from 1994 to 2001. He has also been the executive director of the National AgriChemical Retailers Association and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. He was recognized as the farm broadcaster of the year in 2009 and has won two Oscars in Agriculture for his reporting (1983 and 2008). Root now does daily radio and television programming and is a weekly columnist for the High Plains Journal and the Midwest Ag Journal.He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would not be surprised to see a future chair of the Senate agriculture committee subscribe to an agenda that sends 90 percent of the money in a “farm bill” to food and nutrition programs. In the committee hearing, he attempted to shame the farm legislators into moving food assistance to be the top priority of the farm bill. Agricultural advocates are adamant that farm programs and food programs should be combined into one bill.
The conflict over farm bill spending focuses on two areas: farm program payments and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is commonly referred to as “the Food Stamp Program. However, the strongest of agricultural voices cry out that moving the $80 billion dollar SNAP program would cause death to the farm program. Both Senate and House farm bills address farm and food spending. [Read More]
The challenge will be the actual planting of spring crops into soil that has yet to gain enough warmth to turn into media that links sprouting seeds with nurturing minerals and moisture for the seasons ahead. The only warm spell came just a week ago as farmers were able to put down spring fertilizer and contemplate planting ahead of the snow storm or waiting until the cold and wet period had passed. The assurance of a late harvest, even with good moisture will make it risky to plant a second... [Read More]
It is especially good to have friends who are retired and have a man cave and wives who leave for the weekend to allow a flock of guys to come in and set up camp for the alleged purpose of hunting turkeys. Such was the situation in late April in western Oklahoma, as a college friend hosted his annual event. It was an invitation to come back to my Oklahoma roots and to join in conversation with hope that the world’s problems would be solved by late Sunday afternoon. [Read More]
Cheaper corn could be channeled into plastics and other non-traditional uses and ethanol producers could vertically integrate and start selling their own product in the retail market. Those who produce corn will likely see an emotional downturn in prices and then a period of reaction to real economic events such as world demand, greater domestic livestock production and less corn production. Finally, the taxpayer could also be on the hook as sharply lower corn prices will reinstate price ... [Read More]
If I had bet my weather predictions using the futures market, I would be writing this from a homeless shelter. The beauty of predicting the weather is that there is no penalty for being wrong. We employ an eloquent gentleman in Iowa who has predicted a drought every year since 1988; until last year, when he predicted a “50-50” chance. [Read More]
There is debate as to whether farmers can be sustainable in selling their corn and their plant material (stover) to processors for refining into cellulosic ethanol. Government incentives for Cellulosic Ethanol production will combine with DuPont’s bid to bring the price high enough to be attractive. No matter the political clout of the big players in the cellulosic ethanol industry today or the appearance of endorsement by the government, the final decision on selling plant material will be ... [Read More]
China has its economic problems but it determines direction from one steering point in government and there is no visible dissent. Food has been a key component of keeping China’s masses aligned with government goals. I recall reading an article in the early 1980s, published by the pro-government China Daily. [Read More]
Take a Cat Nap or a Grizzly Nap, or create your own custom nap with ease. A good "nap master" will anticipate opportunities to nap. Lunch, followed by a short nap, can make an hour in to an oasis. [Read More]