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Crop insurance industry launches new 'activism website'

The crop insurance industry continues to press its case to the public and policymakers with new information products.

In October, the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS), a group that represents private crop insurance companies, launched an "activism website" to provide a basis for individuals and organizations to show their support for crop insurance.

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GM labeling defeated in California

California’s Proposition 37, which would have required labeling of genetically modified foods, was defeated in Tuesday’s election by a margin of 53 to 47 percent.  Passage of the ballot measure would have made California the first state to require labeling of genetically modified foods.

Activist organizations, agribusinesses, and farmers were active in intensive lobbying for and against the measure.

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Clearer corn, soy numbers ahead?

An unusually clear picture of U.S. corn and soybean production should emerge in Thursday’s USDA Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate Reports, commodity analysts said on Wednesday afternoon.

That’s because the early maturity of the crops has offered USDA a way to better gauge harvested acres, ear weights of corn, and other factors, they said.

The harvested acres category for corn will be a major focus in the production report. Analysts believe USDA will have more latitude in adjusting that number, as they have in previous drought years.

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Cover crops a ‘great opportunity’ in drought year

Planting cover crops in a drought year can harvest large amounts of residual N and help jump start next year’s crops, according to experts appearing on a webinar Monday. The session, “Dealing with Drought: Securing Nitrogen with Cover Crops,” was hosted by the CropLife Media Group.

“In our experience cover crops offer a great opportunity in a drought year,” said John Meisinger, a USDA soil scientist. Meisinger cited long-term studies in which cover crops significantly reduced N loss and improved soil organic matter.

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Deere unveils future at tech summit

Some of it seemed like pure fantasy. A farmer is seen managing his operation by moving icons on a large, air-borne screen in his office. Like a character in science fiction, he fathoms the weather, monitors his far-away fleet and writes agronomic prescriptions--all with a flick of the wrist. A voice informs the farmer that “row crop tractor 14 has stopped.”

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