COVID-19 Prompts School Closures, Emphasizes Broadband Inadequacies

(IARN) — Many educational institutions have cancelled in-person classes for a period of time, amid growing public health concerns. Students must complete coursework online, which could incite problems for those in rural communities.

RJ Karney, American Farm Bureau Federation congressional relations director, says rural communities do not have the technology to support a students’ coursework. Read more

ARC, PLC Deadline Monday

(IARN) — Farmers who have not yet completed their 2019 crop year elections for enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must schedule an appointment to do so with their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by Monday, March 16. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says.” If you’ve not completed your elections or enrollment, the clock is ticking, and your program eligibility is at stake, so please call FSA today and request an appointment.” To date, more than 1.4 million contracts have been signed for the 2019 crop year. This represents 89 percent of expected enrollment. Read more

FBN Provides Local Access To Farm Inputs

(IARN) — Farmers Business Network prides itself in “creating unprecedented transparency and competition” by delivering “better yields, lower costs, and smarter marketing.”

The growing farmer network looks to provide another layer of convenience to its customers during the 2020 crop season.

FBN Direct “makes buying inputs simple and affordable.” Whether it be chemicals, fertilizers, or seed, Farmers Business Network helps farmers capture a positive return on investment (ROI), shares Dawn Burroughs, FBN senior account executive and regional manager for Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. She adds FBN Hubs will help growers access products locally. Read more

Farm Debt Just Short Of Record Levels

(IARN) — A new analysis shows total farm debt is near record levels and farm real estate debt is at an all-time high. Agricultural Economic Insights found that today, the total debt stands at $425 billion, just short of the 1981 peak of $440 billion. However, the annual increase from 2000 to 2020 has been achieved through the relatively consistent small increases in debt, as opposed to a rapid run-up. Read more

Corteva Agriscience Recommends Taking A Program Approach To Weeds

(IARN) — Waterlogged soils last year kept producers from applying essential herbicide applications. Two crop specialists share how to gain a better handle on weeds in the upcoming crop season.

Brandon Walter, U.S. product manager for corn herbicides with Corteva Agriscience, says effective weed control starts with “getting out early.” Read more