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USDA: Net income up for farmers in 2020

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 5:52 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - According to new USDA numbers, farmers’ bottom lines will be better when all the numbers are added up for 2020. Those numbers show net farm income this year will reach $119.6 billion, the most since 2013. The breakdown shows crop income by 6 and a half billion dollars thanks to higher receipt from soybeans, fruits and nuts. Corn and cotton income is expected to be down at year’s end. Also down will be income from cattle and hogs-down by almost 10 billion dollars. About 40 cents of every dollar of farm income this year will come from government payments.

Syngenta plans to send farmers their final checks in the next few weeks to settle a lawsuit brought by corn growers over traits in some Syngenta corn varieties. The farmers had charged the company with selling corn with the Agrisure Viptera and Agrisure Duracade traits before they were approved in the world market which meant many countries rejected the corn, costing farmers billions of dollars in losses. About 194,000 farmers, grain handlers and ethanol plants were plaintiffs in the case.

Dean Foods, which was the country’s largest fluid milk handler before they went bankrupt, is trying to get money from dairy farmers who shipped milk to the company. Recently Deans sent letters to those farmers called debt settlement letters that said those farmers had to pay back any money they were paid during the preference period of the bankruptcy. But Roger McEowen of Washburn University in Kansas is telling those farmers if those payments were made during the normal course of business they don’t have to pay. He’s calling the letters a scam and a form of extortion. He is urging farmers to get an attorney to deal with it right away.

There will be a big organic farming conference in 2021-it will just be held virtually like so many other meetings. It will be a 6 day event and will merge about 5 different organic meetings usually held independently. The Growing Stronger Collaborative Conference will be held February 22nd through the 27th. The event will have more than 60 workshops covering various aspects of organic farming, a virtual trade show and keynote speakers like former vice-president Al Gore.

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