USDA Forecasts Drop in Net Farm Income Next Year
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Net farm income in the United States is expected to decline in 1995 and could sink to the lowest level in nearly a decade, according to Agriculture Department projections.
USDA forecast 1995 income, which includes unsold inventories, home use of farm produce and assets, at between $33 billion and $43 billion, down from the latest projection for this year of $45 billion.
Net cash income from farming, which includes government payments, is expected to range from $49 billion to $53 billion, a decline from the $51 billion forecast for this year, the department said.
Farmers’ cash receipts are forecast to range between $172 billion and $180 billion next year, compared with an estimated $178 billion this year. Cattle and hog production is expected to remain near this year’s record level.
With a bumper corn crop on the horizon, which would reduce market prices and mean larger government support prices, USDA predicts government payments will be higher next year, in the range of $10 billion to $12 billion, compared with $8 billion expected this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department will launch an aggressive pest-management plan to arm farmers against pests that plague a variety of crops.
The method combines a wide array of crop-production practices that help farmers monitor pests and their natural enemies. It involves combining resistant crop varieties, biological controls, judiciously applied pesticides and flexible planting and cultivation schedules.
″The IPM (Integrated Pest Management) initiative is just one of the many ways USDA is improving service to its customers,″ said Deputy Agriculture Secretary Richard Rominger.
″By setting an ambitious goal for our IPM research and education programs, USDA will develop new biological controls and other IPM tools that will help farmers remain competitive,″ he said.
Officials hope to put the IPM system and education programs in place to help agricultural producers effectively control pests on three-quarters of the crops in the country by 2000.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is incorporating a fungicide dip in its program to eradicate a disease that can devastate chrysanthemums in commercial nurseries.
The fungicide is myclobutanil. Used in a .01 percent solution it has been found to control chrysanthemum white rust disease, said the agency’s Morris Bonde.
The disease is not established in the United States, although outbreaks have occurred. In other countries, the disease is widespread and causes severe damage.
The fungicide successfully stopped an outbreak of the disease in California’s Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties in 1991-92. The fungicide also was tested at USDA’s Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research Lab in Frederick, Md., and found to be effective in controlling the chrysanthemum disease.
″Before this discovery, the only option was to destroy all the plants if there was any sign of the disease,″ Bonde said. ″Now regulators can destroy only infected and adjacent plants and treat the rest with myclobutanil to stop latent infections.