Balanced Reporting. Trusted Insights. Friday, November 22, 2019

Opinion

Opinion: In it to win it

Calling the ongoing trade war with China anything less than war completely understates the existential threat China poses to the United States. I believe China has viewed trade with the U.S. as a strategic war from the outset, with nothing short of global domination as their ultimate goal.
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Opinion: Rural broadband access will grow the economy

I have to drive 20 miles to see a traffic light. To get to an airport from our farm requires a 2-hour drive to Burlington. In other words, life on our dairy farm in Vermont can feel pretty remote. That was especially true before we gained access to broadband, back when it seemed like we faced a red light at the on-ramp to the information superhighway. Now that broadband finally has come to our country home—the red light has turned green—my family can enjoy the benefits of rural living along with the connectivity that keeps us in touch with the whole world.
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Opinion: What do poor balance sheets, trade wars, Impossible Burgers and trial lawyers have in common?

I’m flat busted. My Missouri corn and soybean farm is bankrupt, financially incompetent, a lousy credit risk, upside down--you pick the financial euphemism for a balance sheet that is downright ugly. I’m still paying my bills on time and eating good, due to some profitable years in the recent past, but any honest appraisal of my farm’s future income and liabilities is dark indeed. Of course, if there is any comfort to be found in shared misery, every other producer of corn and soybeans in the U.S. is in the same position.
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Opinion: 5G wireless internet service is necessary to meet future farming demands

Expanding wireless internet access in rural areas will continue to fuel the truly game-changing advances being made by precision agriculture. These include new ways to grow crops using less water, seed, pesticides and fertilizer. Made possible by a faster mobile internet, precision agriculture will continue to support new innovations like driverless tractors, robots and drones that are already increasingly handling farming tasks.
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Opinion: Realigning the value of the dollar will help U.S. family farmers, ranchers

Decades of free and open trade have caused considerable harm to America’s family farmers and ranchers and rural communities. The trade deficit has ballooned to record levels, and U.S. manufacturers are struggling to compete with cheaper imports, forcing them to shutter factories that employ thousands of rural Americans. Even though agricultural exports remain high, farmers’ incomes are on the decline.


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Opinion: Bipartisan fix for farmers is a win for clean water

Let’s just say it: I have always been a nerd. For non-nerds, this may not sizzle; but for those who understand the value of good farming for a better environment, this is going to be huge. This month, a bipartisan group of Senators worked together with the USDA to make a common sense fix on regulations for farmers, which will ultimately be a victory for clean water, cover crops (and nerds).
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