A Look Back - 30 Years Ago
Monday, January 30, 2017
filed under: Historical
Budget, Trade and the Farm Program Demand Attention / By Larry Kleingartner — “Farm bill debate remains unfocused since the agriculture committees have not formally organized as of this writing. A number of bills have been introduced, including several that call for a soybean market loan. There is a growing concern that action is required for soybeans to avoid the trap of increasing stocks and production for the loan. . . .
“To avoid another wheat and corn surplus situation, action must be taken soon. This could either be in the form of a soybean market loan or some other market-clearing device. Congress and the administration want to avoid this potential surplus disaster, but the cost of a soybean market loan would create pressure on an already overloaded budget. . . .
“There is a real attraction to the market loan concept because of the success of the cotton market loan. Government cotton stocks have been appreciably reduced, and some grades of new crop cotton are being contracted above the loan level. This program success has the attention of Congress. The oilseed sector, with a market loan, could be another success story because the stocks are still manageable. It is understood that any program for soybeans would have to include sunflower and cottonseed as well.”
Confection Markets: Tomorrow’s Potential / By Skip Bye — “Sunflower has been gaining increasing shares in as a human food in both domestic and export markets in recent years. Further growth is expected as the confection industry finds new uses for sunflower-related products. For example, tremendous potential for sunflower is seen in the baking and cereal industries, particularly with sunflower prices competitive with other nuts, raisins, etc.
“In the export market, confections have good potential in many regions. Europe continues to be a good market. In Germany it is popular in bread, and in England it is a popular health food. The Far East is also an area where growth potential is excellent. . . .”
Conservation Tillage Systems Research / Second in a three-part series dealing with research being done at the USDA-ARS Northern Great Plains Research Center, Mandan, N.D. / By Skip Bye — “According to A.L. Black, lab director and project coordinator at NGPRC, the research being conducted at the center is designed to find the most efficient management system which also promises the highest yield potential. To meet this goal, NGPRC is conducting a comprehensive experiment on 63 acres. The experiment is a simultaneous, long-range comparison of crop rotations, tillage systems, nitrogen rates and crop varieties. . . .
“The first variable under examination compares a continuous cropping rotation of spring wheat-winter-wheat-sunflower with the more traditional rotation of spring wheat-fallow.
“ ‘One of the advantages of a rotation using these three crops is in how it utilizes available soil moisture,’ says Black. ‘We’re successively removing water and nutrients from deeper and deeper soil.’ For example, spring wheat sends roots to a depth of about 3.5 feet. Winter wheat then taps moisture at the five-foot level and sunflower roots to about six feet below the surface. According to Black, ‘Each crop has the ability to utilize moisture and nutrients that escape the previous crop. Then you start the rotation over because it doesn’t take as much water to recharge the three feet of soil needed for spring wheat. . . .”