Welcome to Agweek Special Reports, where we take a focused, in-depth look at the big issues in agriculture. Each month, we'll dig into a different topic, covering everything from the future of dairy and biofuel to farm estate planning and rural issues.

APRIL REPORT Decorative horizontal line


The companies behind carbon capture pipelines say the projects are necessary to sustain ethanol and the ag economy. But are they?
The largest growth in the ethanol industry came between 2005 and 2013
North Dakota has three soybean crush plants in the works. Those largely will produce soybean meal for animal feed. But a big and growing piece of the puzzle is biofuels made from soybean oil.
Policy funds are paving the way for electric vehicles, but the ethanol industry believes, from an environmental standpoint, ethanol is the right fit, right now.

MARCH REPORT Decorative horizontal line


Climate change brings some benefits, some detriments to agriculture in the northern Plains. Midwest climatology experts see that change is here and farmers are taking notice.
Derechos and other severe weather are having a more long-term and widespread effect – driving up insurance rates or limiting the amount of coverage property owners can get.
Dana Ashford-Kornburger, national climate coordinator for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, said money from the Inflation Reduction Act will provide more funding for EQIP, CSP and more.
The USDA has put $3.1 billion into 141 projects expected to reach more than 60,000 farms and sequester as much carbon as removing 12 million gas-powered passenger vehicles from the road.
The sun has the power to give us what we need, but it’s also powerful enough to disrupt our way of life here on earth.
Minnesota dairy farmer Steve Schlangen and beef producer Don Schiefelbein say farmers need to be involved in environmental policy, even if they don't buy into all the climate change theories.
The RIPE proposal offers conservation payments of at least $100 an acre while producing a crop $100 an animal unit for livestock. It might be the incentive needed for increased buy-in.
March 21 is National Ag Day, and the theme is Agriculture: Growing a Climate for Tomorrow. Agweek's March Special Report digs into climate change and agriculture -- the problems and opportunities.
My helplessness to travel very far from our farm illustrates the power that nature holds over us.

FEBRUARY REPORT Decorative horizontal line


Agweek talked to Rep. Brad Finstad, Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Dusty Johnson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Tina Smith about their views on and goals for the next farm bill.
Convoy of Hope aspires to form more partnerships, similar to Northarvest Bean Growers Association and Central Valley Bean Co-op, with edible bean companies.
Hunger Solutions Minnesota and Great Plains Food Bank see SNAP and other nutrition programs in the farm bill as vital to keeping people fed, along with food banks, food shelves and other options.
In states where expanded benefits have already ended, 29% of SNAP recipients visited food pantries in December, compared to 22% in states that still had the benefits.
The Federal Crop Insurance Act was passed in 1938 to reduce farmers' financial risk during crop-related disaster like those that had occurred during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl years.
Mike Clemens, who farms at Wimbledon, North Dakota, has a hand in the program, serving a four-year term on the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors.
About $428 billion supports the dozen chapters of the farm bill over five years.
Crop insurance history timeline
Federal crop insurance has changed over the years, but its original intent has remained steadfast.

Click to check out a timeline on the history of crop insurance

JANUARY REPORT Decorative horizontal line


Jayson Lusk, a distinguished professor and head of the Agricultural Economics Department at Purdue University in Indiana, has some ideas where the future of food and agriculture is headed.
Links to infographics
Why do people buy the food they do? How satisfied are they with their diet? Click the image to see what they said.

Click to go to the Bison Media Zone

Click this image to see graphs of price changes in key crops over the past several years.

Soybean yields have grown significantly in the past nearly 100 years. Check out this infographic for a closer look at that change.

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