Ag Census deadline near
MADISON - Producers are reminded that the final deadline to complete and return the 2012 Census of Agriculture is May 31.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts the Census once every five years. The Census is the only consistent and comprehensive source of agricultural data for every county in the nation.
The data collected by the Census is used by agribusinesses, trade associations, government officials and policy makers to make future decisions. Farmers can complete their Census forms by mail or online at www.agcensus.usda.gov.
American diet needs help
WASHINGTON - Americans' diets are just not improving and are, in fact, becoming worse, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS). In the study, ERS researchers compared consumers' retail store food purchases between 1998 and 2006 with dietary recommendations in the "U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans."
They found that the allocations of food budgets - spending patterns - improved little between 1998 and 2006, except for a slight increase in spending for whole grains and a slight decrease in spending for refined grains.
USDA predicts record corn crop despite challenges
WASHINGTON - The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report released this week by the Agriculture Department shows that a record corn crop is still reachable despite a slow start to planting season, according to American Farm Bureau Federation analysts.
The report forecasts a corn yield of 158 bushels per acre, implying a record crop of 14.14 billion bushels, up 3.36 billion bushels from 2012 when much of the nation was overtaken by severe drought. The current record corn crop was produced in 2009 at 13.09 billion bushels.
New use for tobacco
BERKELEY, Calif. - The troubled tobacco industry may be getting some good news for a change. University of California scientists are engineering the tobacco plant to produce oils that, when extracted, can serve as drop-in biofuels to power airplanes, cars and other machines.
Research success would allow farmers who have been growing tobacco for generations to continue the tradition for a different purpose, while taking advantage of an infrastructure established to serve the diminishing cigarette, cigar and snuff markets.
Illinois firm wins bid for Golden Guernsey Dairy
WAUKESHA - The Golden Guernsey dairy plant in Waukesha has new owners and may be open for business later this summer. On Tuesday, Lifeway Foods Inc. of Morton Grove, Ill., purchased the property for $7.4 million during a bankruptcy auction. Lifeway is known for producing kefir, which is a dairy product similar to yogurt.