Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. If you get a call from USDA, answer it. Joe Prusacki, Director of Statistics Division at NASS, says enumerators may be calling farmers between Oct. 28 and Nov. 5 to collect data on yields that should have been processed during the government shutdown earlier this month. Here's how NASS surveys normally work, and what's actually on tap for November's crop production estimates in lieu of data.
2. Water Resources Act easily passes House. The House Wednesday voted 417-3 on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, a bill to realign funding for inland waterways and ease restrictions for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects. It will now move to conference, as the Senate passed its own version of the bill in May.
3. Washington state GMO fight creeps closer. Washington voters will decide Nov. 5 if the state should require labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms -- a proposition that could have national implications if approved.
4. Ag is positioned to handle a downturn in prices. Long-term demand prospects for agriculture still look positive, according to presenters at the 2013 Oilseed and Grain Summit, which concluded Wednesday in Minneapolis. Inflation worries, interest rates and a slower Chinese economy may be concerns, but CHS CEO Carl Casale, summit keynote speaker, explains ag is "well-capitalized" to meet future demand.
5. Expect the next farm bill to be 'markedly different' from its predecessors. Ag economists at the University of Mississippi are just as unsure as everyone else when a farm bill will finally appear, but one thing's for sure – it will be hardly recognizable from the bills that came before it.
6. Beef cuts nomenclature guide helps international audiences. Ever wonder what a flank steak is called in Cuba? How about in Indonesia? Exporters were wondering, too, which is why the U.S. Meat Export Federation this week developed a beef cuts nomenclature guide to lessen confusion and improve exports of U.S. products to other countries.
7. Don't worry, farmers will care for your abandoned dog. Many a dog has wondered upon a farmstead to find a new home, sometimes after its previous owners have left it to fend for itself. But Missouri Ruralist editor Mindy Ward wonders: what would happen to farm animals if farmers did the same thing?
And your bonus:
Ready. Set. Blog! If you like to blog, now is your chance to snap up some link backs with Holly Spangler as she embarks on her annual "30 Days" feature in her own blog, My Generation. Holly will discuss a different agricultural topic each day in the month of November, and she wants YOU to join her!