Louisiana Congressman Plans Ag Trade Trip to Cuba

By: , Fifth District U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham wants Louisiana to be first in line as a trading partner for Cuba when normalization between the forbidden island and the United States is complete. "We want to be first in the gate," said Abraham, R-Alto, who is traveling to Cuba on an agricultural trade mission April 6 with U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, Arkansas, and producers from both states.. Abraham's trip will come on the heels of President Barack's historic visit to the island, where Cubans crave Louisiana rice but have been denied the staple from here for decades because of the embargo. "Basically, this is a huge market in our own back yard," said northeastern Louisiana's Meryl Kennedy Farr, whose family is one of the largest rice producers in...
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Technology Stepping Up Amidst Low Commodity Prices

By Jim Patrico, Progressive Farmer Senior Editor Sprayer engineers have been busy. Those clever folks (and their colleagues in related fields) in the last few years have turned a simple idea -- mixing crop-protection chemicals with water and spraying them on fields -- into a high-tech marvel. Today's sprayers read prescriptions, reposition booms to match changes in terrain, run at 35 mph down the road, shut off nozzles to prevent overapplication and, in general, make crop farming more efficient.

In a time of low commodity prices, that is vital.

Efficiency and productivity don't come cheap, of course. A half-million dollar price tag for a new, top-of-the-line sprayer is not rare. So a cost/benefit analysis is important. And cost is one reason new sprayers often come...

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Big Delays in Delta Planting

By Bryce Anderson DTN Ag Meteorologist

OMAHA (DTN) -- DTN's weather forecast the first week of March for the following seven-to-10-day period showed the potential for 10 inches of rain in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and eastern Texas. That forecast was verified, and then some, with maximum rainfall amounts in the Delta from March 9-11 totaling more than 20 inches.

Flooding from that rainfall is widespread, with many roads and schools closed, numerous high-water rescues performed, and homes and businesses evacuated. And that was just the "people" side of things.

Agriculturally, there is a huge blow to crop and livestock production. Cattle producers likely had some death loss from the flooding. Also, many pastures are flooded and unusable for the time being, as evidenced...

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