Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. Senate approves Farm Bill. The Senate Monday approved its Farm Bill 66-27. The House is now expected to move its version to the floor this month. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, an opponent of the bill last year, said though he has ongoing concerns with the House's version – namely in dairy reform – he would apparently be willing to set those aside this year.
2. Is the U.S. investing enough in export promotion? A new study funded by the U.S. Wheat Associates finds many countries are investing significant amounts of money into promoting international food and agricultural trade. And while the U.S. is active in trade promotion, funding sources are different.
3. National Biodiesel Board welcomes fuels from other sources. The National Biodiesel Board this week announced it would open membership to makers of other renewable diesels, not just those making biodiesel from vegetable oil. With the change, NBB will represent the biomass-based diesel category under the Renewable Fuels Standard.
4. Trade remains hot topic for hog producers. The National Pork Producers Council is keeping trade on the front burner this month as organization officials look to mitigate the effects of a Chilean trade safeguard and USDA's Country of Origin Labeling proposal while monitoring negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The organization is focused on complying with World Trade Organization rules and expanding hog exports.
5. Just how important is a website? Important enough that you might lose out on renting some land, says Lori Lennard, Farm Futures blogger. You may not think you need one, but as a farm owner it can pay big dividends in a world focused on technology.
6. GM crops paying off in Uruguay, farmer notes. In an editorial for Truth About Trade, a farmer from Uruguay points out the benefits he sees from GM crops, no-till and other conservation measures. "'Grains are for the people, straw and residues are for the soil,'" he writes. "GM crops make this possible."
7. 5 Apps to keep your family organized. It's almost summer, and between planting, scouting and spraying, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. Prairie Farmer's Josh Flint has some advice: keep your life organized with a selection of smartphone apps. Check out his top five app picks for the summer.
And your bonus:
Yeah, you might be tired of 'fluffy cows,' but here's the man behind it all. The "fluffy cows" craze, which originated on Reddit and sparked a social media frenzy over the past several weeks, could actually serve a purpose. Beef Producer blogger and Feedstuffs editor Andy Vance talks with Matt Lautner, owner of the original "fluffy cow" about how producers can leverage the discussion to focus on production practices and beef products.