Superforecasting for the Farm

How much is it humanly possible to forecast future events on your farm?

With some mostly commonsense tactics, you can improve your prediction skills by 10% or more, according to new research.


Convert a Corner of Your Land for Conservation Payoff

For marginal lands money is available to convert a corner of your farm into other purposes – including habitat. The case for wildlife habitat establishment has turned down a different path in a time of below-breakeven corn prices, according to farmers and


Bee health debate heats up over pesticides

A new national campaign to restrict use of a widely applied group of pesticides is bringing increased attention to the question of how to improve the health of honeybees and other pollinators. 

This week a full-page advertisement appeared in major U.S. newspapers calling for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose a moratorium on use of neonicotinoids, a type of chemical used in seed treatments and other insecticides. 


Plug holes in post-harvest pipeline, say food & ag experts

Solving global hunger needs to focus on the forces beyond the farm gate, according to experts speaking at a World Food Prize panel on Friday. 

Despite some progress in alleviating poverty across the globe, hunger is still a huge issue, said Jomo Kwame Sundaram, an official with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  There are 842 million people who are suffering from chronic hunger, and that’s using a strict definition of the term, he said, meaning that people have been suffering from hunger for at least a year.


Monsanto looks for ‘new words’ on GMOs

Monsanto needs to find a new language, a better way to talk to consumers, if the world is to continue to make gains with food quantity and quality, Rob Fraley, one of three winners of the 2013 World Food Prize, told a gathering at Meredith Corporation on Thursday.

The session was a side event to the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue of the World Food Prize being held in Des Moines, October 16-18.


Food security needs social media boost, says agribusiness executive

Farmers have their work cut out for them if they intend to meet the big challenge of feeding a growing global population, but world hunger, unlike most issues, is solvable, says Jeff Simmons, president of Elanco.

Speaking at a Meredith Agrimedia event related to the World Food Prize conference in Des Moines, Iowa, this week, Simmons previewed the Enough Food Security Report, which he says will be a call to action, an invitation for people to participate in the solution.


Full house for local cover crop field day: Sign of the times?

Farmers filled up a farm shop in eastern Iowa on September 10 to hear more about using cover crops in corn and soybean rotations. The hot, dry and windy weather forced cancellation of a planned aerial seeding demonstration at the Jim Meade farm in Johnson County, but high interest in the practice was clear.


Help bring back the bees

Last spring, the buzz of honeybees grew ever quieter around the plants and trees that feed the world.  Half the hives serving food crops, such as orchard crops, vegetables, fruits and forages, were lost over winter, experts say.

About one third of U.S. foods are made possible by pollinators, which include honeybees, native bees, butterflies, birds, and other creatures. Pollinators contribute to the annual production of some 95 U.S. crops worth $20 to $30 billion.