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Ag Issues & Insights

Seven Billion and Growing

According to the United Nations, today is the day.  Our population will reach 7 billion.

And, while most of us are blessed to have a bountiful food supply – and even a healthy stash of treats on this Halloween day – this population milestone has many asking what it will take to meet the needs of a population that is growing by an estimated 200,000 people each day.

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Scouting crops with the Case IH Scout Utility Vehicle

Providing Food For All

From humble beginnings 25 years ago, the World Food Prize has grown into a week-long recognition of food security issues and a celebration of those working to curb it. Called the World Food Prize Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, the event brings together world leaders to address current food issues and future needs in feeding people around the globe. The Prize was presented in Des Moines, Iowa last week.

When we talk about being ready, Dr. Norman Borlaug walked the walk. He worked tirelessly to improve grain varieties, and was honored as a 1970 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for his efforts. He supported the integration of public and private research efforts into viable technologies, and encouraged political leaders to bring these advances to fruition. Dr. Borlaug founded the World Food Prize, and would be proud of what it has become.

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Here’s a quick follow-up to our “Did You Hear? U.S. DOT Seeking Public Comment” blog post from back in July. At that time, we noted that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency operating within the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), had issued a request for public comment on proposed regulations for farmers’ use of public roads. Among other things, the DOT was seeking comments on whether or not to require tractor and agriculture equipment drivers to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate machinery on the road.

According to the Associated Press,  agriculture organizations and lawmakers from farm states flooded Washington with letters opposed to the idea, which would have limited agricultural commercial drivers’ license (CDL) exemptions, and expanded the definition of “implements of husbandry or off-road farm equipment” to bring more vehicles and implements under jurisdiction of DOT.

In the end, regulators took these comments into consideration when they weighed their decision, and reached what seems to most in agriculture to be a sensible conclusion:

U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said that the FMCSA does not intend to propose any new regulations governing the transport of agricultural products, and that the agency has released guidance to states so they clearly understand exemptions “to allow farmers, their employees and their families to accomplish their day-to-day work and transport their products to market.”

Here’s a clear case where the voices of stakeholders were heeded, in this instance leading to a common-sense decision that lets America’s farm families keep doing what they do best.

Our post earlier this week, “Non-Ag Folks Just Don’t Understand” reminded us that the general public has limited and sometimes misguided information about farming.

“Agvocacy” is needed now more than ever, and farmers have the best opportunity to speak with a credible voice on issues that impact their businesses.

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Blog Share: Five Ethanol Myths, Busted

Corn field

If you’ve been following the Case IH BE READY blog, you’ve seen that we occasionally share thought-provoking blogs or news articles related to the opportunities and challenges facing agriculture today and in the future.

Ethanol continues to be a major topic of discussion both inside and outside agriculture circles, as evidenced by this article on Wired.com. In “Five Ethanol Myths, Busted”, author Forrest Jehlik, a mechanical engineer in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory Transportation Technology Research & Development Center, discusses five prevailing myths related to ethanol production, its effect on the world’s food supply and the environment and gas mileage.

Regardless of your position on ethanol production in the U.S., the purpose of this blog share is to make you aware of the latest issues and discussions taking place.

Read “Five Ethanol Myths, Busted”

Case IH Steiger Quadtrac 600 tractor

Case IH helped bring the story of production agriculture to more than 2.5 million consumers as part of Farm Journal Media’s Farmers Feeding the World exhibit at Taste of Chicago, June 24 through July 3.

The exhibit featured a Case IH Steiger® Quadtrac® 600 tractor, the world’s highest horsepower production tractor, along with a large screen TV playing video of how farmers use Case IH tractors and equipment in the field. The purpose of the display was to show consumers how Case IH is helping farmers grow safe and healthy food for an ever-increasing population.
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In February, Case IH posted a video blog featuring Dan Basse, president of AgResource Company and headliner of Case IH’s Be Ready Discussion on Global Markets at Ag Connect Expo. During our interview with Basse, he commented that someday in the near future, farmers will be marketing crops and livestock for the world every minute of every day.

In this ever-evolving world of agriculture, every piece of grain and every corn kernel truly counts, and Case IH’s innovative equipment and technology holds the key to maximizing harvest efficiency.

Check out Case IH’s latest “From the Field” video post on The Weather Channel titled, “How can our farms meet growing demand?”. This video post discusses how innovative Case IH equipment can help farmers maximize efficiency from every acre of land, so they can Be Ready to feed the world.

Remember the Case IH blog post back in April that featured the TIME magazine blog article, “Is the world ready for seven billion people?

The seven billionth person will likely be born in 2011. And, most experts believe that in about 40 years the world population will grow to nine billion people!

Ready or not, here they come, and to our farmers out there, we need your help to feed them.

Check out Case IH’s latest “From the Field” video post on The Weather Channel titled, “How will growers feed the world?” This video post discusses how innovative Case IH equipment can help farmers maximize efficiency from every acre of land, so they can Be Ready to feed the world.

As if a late start to planting your crops wasn’t enough of a challenge for you, the delay also gives weeds ample opportunity to take root and choke out planted seedlings, making weed management an even more crucial task this summer.

Brian Hefty, a farmer and co-host of RFD-TV’s AgPhD, provided insights on weed resistance, weed tolerance, and weed management practices during his presentation, “Weed Resistance – Will You Be Ready?” as part of Case IH’s Be Ready Discussion at the 2011 Ag Connect Expo.  (more…)

Is The World Ready for Seven Billion People?

As you’re gearing up to get in the fields this spring, I want to share a TIME magazine blog post in which author, Bryan Walsh, poses the question: “Is the world ready for seven billion people?

In his blog, Walsh comments that sometime this year the world’s seventh billionth person will be born. To put that in perspective, it took the world 50 years to grow from three billion people to seven billion people. If you think that’s fast, think about this: the sixth billionth person born is just 11 years old!

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