National briefs

Wisconsin State Farmer
National Briefs


Early-onset spring models may indicate 'nightmare' for ag

Warm springs in the Great Lakes and Northeast regions – which create havoc for agriculture – may start earlier by mid-century if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, according to a new Cornell University study published in Climate Dynamics.

Very warm springs have been anomalies, but this new analysis of climate model data shows an increased frequency to nearly one in every three years by the end of this century.

“The spring of 2012, with its summerlike warmth, brought plants out of dormancy and then had a lengthy freeze. This was a nightmare scenario for many growers, and it showed us a snapshot of what global warming might look like in this region,” said Toby Ault, assistant professor in earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University, an author on the study.

Unusually warm temperatures early in spring 2012 led to the warmest March, breaking records in more than 15,000 U.S. sites.

Modeling shows that frequency and magnitude of early springs could occur more than a month earlier, for example, throughout the Great Lakes region by 2080.

“The time to act on curbing greenhouse gas emissions is now. If we don’t, years like 2012 – ruinous to farmers and producers – in the U.S. could become normal by 30 to 40 years from now in addition to a host of other impacts,” said Ault.

The researchers sought to understand seasonal-transition timing to offer strategies as climate change unfolds. To ensure their models are accurate, Ault said researchers distinguished and separated normal climatic variability from long-term atmospheric alterations, by using a new ensemble of climate change simulations.

Meteorologists said March 2012, the earliest spring since 1900, prematurely interrupted winter plant dormancy. After a warm winter 2011-12, some orchards blossomed earlier than usual that spring. Temperatures tumbled in April, and crops were destroyed. Economic losses mounted.

The research was supported by the United States Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation and the National Phenology Database at the USA National Phenology Network


Equipment Dealers Association to host free webinar

Mechanic’s Liens are a part of doing business, especially in trying economic times. These liens apply to various situations in the equipment industry including:

  • The non-payment by a customer for labor or storage of equipment;
  •  Liens on land when rented equipment was used to make improvements;
  •  Liens on crops when rented equipment was used to plant or process the product produced.

The Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) has scheduled a free webinar to help explain the fundamental aspects of mechanic’s liens and to assist dealers in developing policies to protect their dealership’s interests while staying out of hot water!   This webinar will be led by EDA’s trusted legal partners, Nick Garzia and Carolyn Theis, of Armstrong Teasdale, LLP.
The webinar will:

  • Explain the common steps that a state (by statute) may require a dealer to follow in order to preserve their interest in a piece of equipment which they have repaired or stored for a customer;
  • Explain the different ways that dealerships with rental fleets can secure their interests in either crops or land;
  • Explain the different ways dealerships can protect themselves against mechanic’s liens when expanding or improving their dealership premises

.The date of the webinar is Wednesday, September 28, at 12 p.m. (CDT).


Application Deadline for Conservation Legacy Awards Extended to Sept. 15

Don’t miss the opportunity to share the story of conservation on your farm. Submit your application for a Conservation Legacy Award, and you could also win a trip to the 2017 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. The deadline to submit an application has just been extended until Sept. 15.

The Conservation Legacy Awards program showcases farm management practices of U.S. soybean producers that are both environmentally friendly and profitable. Three regional winners and one national winner will be selected. All U.S. soybean farmers are eligible to enter to win a Conservation Legacy Award. Entries are judged on soil management, water management, input management, farmstead protection and conservation and environmental management.

Winners will be selected from three regions – the Midwest, the Northeast and the South. One of these award recipients will be named the national winner during the American Soybean Association (ASA) Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic.

Award Winners Receive:

  • An expense paid trip for two to Commodity Classic, March 2-4, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas
  • Recognition at the ASA Awards Banquet at Commodity Classic
  • A feature on your farm and conservation practices in Corn & Soybean Digest and a special online video

The Conservation Legacy Awards are sponsored by the ASA, BASF, Corn & Soybean Digest, Monsanto, the United Soybean Board/soybean checkoff and Valent.

More information on past winners of the award and how to submit your application are available here. All applications must be submitted by Sept. 15.