Take a look back at some of the top headlines from the previous week.
The Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, D.C. concluded Friday.
The final day focused on connecting farmers with the consumers in their areas through local food hubs.
Secretary Tom Vilsack told those at the forum that agriculture needs to embrace diversity.
“And I don’t just mean diversity in terms of operators. I’m talking about diversity of crops. There needs to be diversity of markets. We need to continue to expand our foreign markets with a strong export promotion effort,” Vilsack said. “We need to diversify land use, and obviously we need to diversify the workforce and the farming community. That’s why we need immigration reform.”
Vilsack talked about the newly released preliminary results from the Census of Agriculture.
“More Hispanics, more Native Americans, more Asians, more African American producers. And I think that’s reflected again in the changing character of agriculture,” Vilsack said.
USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber told attendees there will be lower prices for major crops.
“Strong plantings both for corn and soybeans. And again, return to normal weather this year. We should see close to record crops. All of that will bring prices down,” said Glauber. “For many crops these are the lowest levels that we’ve seen since 2009-2010.”
Glauber added the California drought will force producers to make tough choices for water allocation.
Later, Vilsack addressed the media, emphasizing helping livestock producers.
“Our immediate focus was on making sure that we could and will meet the 60-day deadline for getting folks in a point where they can apply for disaster assistance to livestock. That is the most immediate need from my perspective,” he said.
This report is from our partners at the USDA.
Watch a special 2-hour recap of the forum on RFD-TV with Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief Janet Adkison on Monday, Feb. 24, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST.
RFD-TV’s Janet Adkison has moved to Washington, D.C. to open a news bureau.
She’ll be reporting in the Market Day Report and Rural Evening News straight from the nation’s capital.
Adkison said she hopes to connect rural America with our government leaders.
Residents in Oklahoma were rattled by numerous earthquakes earlier this week.
Geologists at Oklahoma State University confirmed the number earthquakes is increasing.
The American Red Cross offers a free earthquake notification app for iPhone and Android devices.
The Obama administration is directing more resources to help farmers and ranchers impacted by the drought in California.
Those producers are hoping aid arrives quickly.
One of those initiatives – prioritizing the farm bill’s disaster assistance programs – is expected to be extremely helpful, said Dave Karnz, with the California Farm Bureau Federation.
The president is taking action to help those affected by drought conditions in California.
Prices for dairy products are expected to go up.
Analysts predict the price of milk will increase by 60 cents next month.
The rising cost is blamed on fewer cows producing to meet the demand.
Watch The Market Day Report Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST and The Rural Evening News Monday through Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.