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There are an estimated 71000 acres of marijuana under cultivation each year in California That represents 121 square miles or an area equivalent to the size of Sacramento
<p> <strong>There are an estimated 71,000 acres of marijuana under cultivation each year in California. That represents 121 square miles or an area equivalent to the size of Sacramento.</strong></p>

Copy wrangler: Delta Farm Press week in review

The weekly roundup of stories from Delta Farm Press.

On Monday…

David wrote on the House and Senate sending the ‘super committee’ a joint proposal for $23 billion in agriculture program cuts over the next 10 years. “The proposed cuts would come from the following programs: commodities ($15 Billion), conservation ($4 billion), and nutrition/food stamps ($4 billion). If direct payments are ended, legislators will point to high commodity prices as justification.”

A second story on the development is here.

We learned that Bayer has expanded its wheat germplasm pool.

Ron Smith wrote on forecasts for continuing drought in the Southwest. “If you didn’t like the summer of 2011, chances look pretty good that you aren’t going to be happy with 2012, either. And 2013, ’14, and ’15 could add to your discontent.”

Roy Roberson wrote a feature on the adoption of precision agriculture by South Carolina’s Weathers family, which works row crop, dairy and milk- hauling businesses.

Forrest provided a video report from the World Food Prize Symposium on Syngenta CEO Michael Mack. Mack spoke on “smallholder farms” and their impact on long-term food security.

David wrote on the EPA pushing its fuel-spill plan deadline for farms (otherwise known as the Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures) from November of this year to spring of 2013. “The SPCC targets the prevention – as opposed to the post-spill clean-up -- of any discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. Farmers and ranchers were among those who faced a Nov. 10 deadline to come up with an SPCC plan.”

The EPA was also the subject of David’s story regarding the agency’s repeated claims – the latest in writing – that it isn’t seeking further regulations of dust.

On Tuesday…

David wrote the first of two articles on resistant pigweed control in northeast Arkansas. “Farmers, watching the encroachment of hard-to-kill pigweeds, were anxious ‘to get ahead before it got too bad,’ says Clay County Extension staff chair Andy Vangilder. “And we still have grown-up fields that folks haven’t paid enough attention to. But drive around this northeast Arkansas area and I don’t think there’s anywhere cleaner in the state.”

For a photo gallery, see here. For a video report, see here.

We learned that Syngenta will introduce 105 corn hybrids in 2012.

Two video reports were filed from the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Georgia.  Here, veteran media specialist Tyron Spearman talks about this year’s show.

Here, Sunbelt Director Chip Blaylock welcomed Arkansas visitors to the show and then helped Arkansas Farmer of the Year Michael Oxner cut the ribbon for the Arkansas Pavilion.

In this video report, the World Food Programme’s Josette Sheeran discusses the specter of famine once again hitting the Horn of Africa. The WFP is rushing humanitarian aid to nearly 8 million people in places like Somalia and Ethiopia.

North Carolina’s Thomas Porter was named Sunbelt Expo Farmer of the Year.

On Wednesday…

Cary Blake wrote on research efforts to utilize “high tech solutions to improve yield with less irrigation water."

Ron Smith reported on uncertainty for the future of estate tax exemptions. “Making a living in agriculture comes with a barn-load of unknowns: What’s the weather going to do?  How will insect or disease pressure affect productivity? Will the price of cotton in China affect U.S. markets? Add to those another big question mark: What’s the future of estate tax obligations?”

In another video report from the Sunbelt Ag Expo, Billy Skaggs -- filling in for ailing Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black -- discusses the state’s ongoing drought and a report on farm labor shortages.

On Thursday…

David provided a second story on northeast Arkansas farmers adopting a “zero tolerance” approach to glyphosate-resistant pigweeds. “We’ve really become serious and intent about dealing with this,” says Mike Morgan, who farms large cotton acreage outside Piggott, Ark. “When we see a flush coming on, it’s sprayed. Period. This season, some of the turnrows and ditches in these fields have been sprayed three times. Almost all of them were sprayed twice.”

Ron Smith wrote about expected strong demand for beef through 2012.

Bob Scott, Arkansas Extension weed scientist, wrote on ryegrass control in wheat.

In a video report from the Sunbelt Ag Expo, Dennis Hancock of the University of Georgia, says growers need to take advantage of recent rainfall and, hopefully, warmer temperatures to establish winter annuals this fall.

A University of Arkansas report discussed wetter weather conditions and the effects on state crops.

More on the implications of the merger of Makhteshim Agan Group (MAI), a world leader in crop protection solutions, and ChemChina.

On Friday…

Hembree explained the upcoming vote in Mississippi on “whether the state should be restricted in its ability to take private property through eminent domain. Mississippi was one of only a handful of states in the nation without such safeguards following a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the way for private property to be taken under eminent domain for private development.”

Hembree also blogged on “a commitment by the Navy and Marine Corps to obtain 50 percent of their energy needs from sources other than fossil fuels by 2020. This on the heels of President Obama’s announcement in August that he wants the U.S. military to begin a concentrated program to wean itself from its dependence on oil.”

A video report on “Oscar the robot” referenced an “app” produced by Farm Press Publications in cooperation with the Sunbelt Ag Expo.

Syngenta announced U.S. registration of Gramoxone SL herbicide, a new formulation of Gramoxone “with increased mixing compatibility and improved handling characteristics.” 

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