What's ahead for 2011?
It's that time of year: When we like to look back on the last year, what's happened and what we've accomplished.
The year 2010 will go down for many farmers as one of extreme weather and extreme markets. After a winter that saw snowfall records fall in spots around the Midwest, spring let many farmers get a lot of acres planted before the rains started. Those rains piled up in some areas, causing flooding and related crop delays. Then, the tap shut off and allowed most farmers to get their fall harvest completed quickly, a welcome occurrence for those who fought long, drawn-out rain-delayed harvests the previous 2 years.
So, what's ahead? The coming year looks to be a big and busy one for agriculture. There are going to be more issues in play than normal, some with much higher stakes.
"Federal budget cuts, farm bill discussions, biotech approval, prices of grain, China's food inflation and its impact on exports, EPA regulations, cellulosic ethanol and the future of ethanol support" are just a few of the issues Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill northey says he'll be facing in 2011, among other things.