From the Farm Desk
TPP DONE DEAL (Wall Street Journal) – The Trans Pacific Partnership – a trade pact between 11 Pacific Rim nations – will take effect this year after Australia became the sixth country to ratify it this week. The deal is the largest free-trade agreement completed in Asia and could be the most important trade agreement reached in more than two decades. Last year, President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, saying it would disadvantage U.S. workers.
WINTER WEATHER FORECAST UP IN THE AIR; EL NINO EXPECTED TO BE A KEY FACTOR (FarmWeekNow)- El Nino patterns typically mean milder winter conditions in Illinois. For those who follow the Old Farmers’ Almanac, it predicts a wet season. Its revised forecast calls for higher levels of snowfall with biting cold temperatures this winter. But due to its prediction of above-average temperatures, it also predicts below-normal snowfall in some areas that normally get snow.
The Farmers’ Almanac's forecast calls for higher levels of snowfall with biting cold temperatures this winter. (Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)
ILLINOIS SET TO BECOME SOLAR LEADER (Digital Journal) – Illinois is experiencing a boom in solar energy projects stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act, a 2016 law that sets a target of getting 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. At the end of the second quarter of 2018, Illinois ranked 34th, up from 43rd in 2017 in solar capacity and the state is projected to add 1,857 megawatts of solar capacity over the next five years – an increase of 1,898 percent over what it has today.
IL DAIRY FARMERS FEELING THE PINCH (Illinois News Network) – Illinois dairy farmers are among those feeling the effects of the ongoing trade wars and it’s forcing some farmers to make tough decisions. “We are seeing the closing of several dairies here in Illinois,” said Tasha Bunting, Illinois Milk Producers’ Association. “We started the year with about 600 and we’re now down into the 560-range. Certainly, it’s having a far-ranging impact on our dairy farmers across Illinois.”
FARMERS: GET THE FARM BILL DONE (Reuters) – As Congress returns for the lame-duck session, farmers have one priority on lawmakers’ to do list: Get a farm bill done before the end of the year. Lawmakers have said passing the legislation is their highest priority as it would provide some stability to farmers who have been affected by the loss of export markets due to the U.S.’ ongoing trade war with China.
IL FARMERS FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY (Illinois News Network) – Illinois farmers are working to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus levels in their soil and improve the economics of best management practices. “They need that soil to be productive, and they need to take care of it so they can pass on that business and that entire enterprise to the next generation,” said Lauren Lurkins, director of natural and environmental resources at the, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB).
MARKETMAKER CONNECTS BUYERS, GROWERS (FarmWeekNow.com)– Illinois Food MarketMaker is connecting farmers to more potential buyers through expansion of its ag-related partners. The interactive database is using technology through its growing partnerships “to put information in one place,” said Dan Knipe, MarketMaker co-founder. Knipe presented workshops at the IFB Local and Regional Food Conference in Normal last week.
About “From the Farm Desk”: There are a lot of farm-related news items that cross the Editor’s desk to share with area farmers and farm supporters. This collection of news briefs is gathered from both mainstream and agriculture media and is designed to keep farmer members and leaders up-to-date. The articles are not intended to represent Cook County Farm Bureau policy or positions.