Spring rains too little, too late for dryland wheat

By Gabriel Monte, Freedom New Mexico l Spring rainfall too little, too lateMost area farmers will be unable to take advantage of this year’s record wheat prices as their dryland crops withered away this winter and spring from lack of moisture. Most dryland farmers had to abandon their dryland wheat crop and collected crop insurance […]

Wealthy welfare farmers assured for five more years

Editorial Farm welfare: It’s not just for the poor. While working Americans slave away to pay their taxes, wealthy welfare farmers can rest assured the easy money will keep showing up in the mail for years to come. Even though farmers are thriving as a result of world food prices soaring 43 percent in the […]

Local reaction to farm bill mixed

Freedom New Mexico Reaction among local ag producers and lawmakers to a farm bill passed in Congress this week is split. The $290 billion measure will increase food aid for the needy as well as subsidies for farmers. Alva Carter, a Roosevelt county dairy owner, thinks that many people are misunderstanding the farm bill and […]

CRP changes being considered

By Sarah Meyer, Freedom New Mexico The Farm Service Agency is pushing for more farmer-friendly grazing and haying rules on Conservation Reserve Program land. The FSA is proposing rule changes that would allow managed haying once every five years and managed grazing once every three years.About 100,000 acres in Curry County were re-enrolled in CRP […]

Farm bill passes Senate again

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor The long and winding road to a new farm bill got a leg up Friday as the Senate passed its own $286 billion version. The bill, passed on a 79-14 vote, expands subsidies for wheat, barley, oats, soybeans and several other crops and creates new grants for vegetable and […]

Senate passes $286 billion farm bill

Staff and Wire reports WASHINGTON — The Senate on Friday approved a $286 billion farm bill with an election-year expansion of subsidies for growers and food stamps for the poor. The bill, passed on a 79-14 vote, expands subsidies for wheat, barley, oat, soybeans and several other crops and creates new grants for vegetable and […]

Tweaked farm bill worthy of Bush’s veto

Editorial Democrats took control of Congress vowing to take a fresh look at wasteful programs and spending priorities. The expiration of the federal farm program — it has to be renewed every five years — was a golden opportunity to put some substance behind those promises. Crop prices are high, and farmers are thriving; net […]

Farm bill receives go ahead

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor A farm bill approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday is likely to make eastern New Mexico peanut farmers happy, but disappoint some dairy farmers. According to a press release from Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., the committee gave approval to a $280 billion farm bill Thursday which would restore […]

Farmers pleased with sorghum crop

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Grain sorghum farmers are reporting an above average year with yields double and even triple the average, according to area producers and officials. “It is probably one of the better crops we’ve had in the past five years,” said Toby Bostwick, Curry County farmer and president-elect for the National […]

Government should take cue from aid groups

Editorial Even as many Americans continue to clamor that government hand just about everything into our waiting palms, elsewhere more people and groups are recognizing how vital free markets are to international development. The international humanitarian relief group CARE recently rejected a shipment from the U.S. government of some $46 million worth of food to […]

Fresh pickings

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer As local farmers set up their produce, customers mingled, awaiting the signal that would officially open the Portales Farmers’ Market for the afternoon. In a flurry of activity Thursday at the corner of First Street and Avenue B, seven farmers’ market vendors sold a variety of produce to customers, […]

Farmers embrace tractor technology

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Technology advancements have entered the world of farming in a variety of ways in recent years. “Probably the biggest thing today is the AMS (Ag Management Solutions) portion of it,” said Maury May, of Ray Lee Equipment in Clovis. According to May, the AMS is an autotrack system that […]

Preparation pays off

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor With bumper wheat harvest winding down for farmers in the area, I’m thankful for the success of the crop and the price it will command but glad I’m not making my living directly off the amber waves of grain. For years, my family depended on wheat harvest as a […]

Peanut funding bill thrown out

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer The future of peanut storage funding is still up in the air after it was thrown out of an emergency supplemental bill attached to the Iraq funding measure being considered on Capitol Hill. New Mexico Peanut Growers representatives were in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to meet with congressional members […]

Farmers fear ethanol demand could bump up corn prices

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Ethanol industry demands could cause escalating prices for dairy and livestock producers. Corn production is expected to increase, say analysts, but demand still may not be met, affecting everything from feed prices to prices at the grocery store. Corn prices are holding steady around the $4 mark, according to […]

Spokeswoman: Dairies work not to waste water

Following is an interview conducted with Sandra Tapia, an industry relations representative for Dairy Max, about environmental issues in the dairy industry. Q. What are some of the methods dairy farmers use to recycle water? A. Water is recycled three times: to cool milk, wash the facilities, and to water crops. Dairies have to recycle […]

Farmers support proposed initiative

By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers Local dairy farmers support the idea of turning manure into electricity, and now that Gov. Bill Richardson wants state incentives to encourage the idea, they say it’s more feasible than ever. “Local dairies here have been wanting to do some projects, but we need help,” said Art Schaap, a […]

Farmers hope for help from D.C.

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By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Anxious farmers have flung hopes on Congress to clarify an environmental law they fear has the potential to bankrupt them. Sen. Pete Domenici, R.-N.M., is sponsoring a bill that would prevent manure from being classified as hazardous waste because of the compounds in it and would exempt dairies and other […]

Pumpkin crop pops up

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Lining fences and decorating yards, pumpkins provide a splash of vivid color to the landscape and are a sure sign that fall has arrived. Pumpkin harvest is in full swing for Davis Farms near Clovis, where pumpkins have grown for the last 18 years. Jacqueline Davis said they ship […]

Water conservation problem not solved

Editorial Paying farmers not to farm isn’t a new or shocking concept inside the U.S. Department of Agriculture: in fact, today it’s a widely accepted practice, used to keep the price of commodities pumped up, protect “wetlands” and advance other conservation goals, some of which have a dubious public benefit. But how about paying farmers […]