Need to catch up? Here are some stories you might have missed this week.
1. RFS debate still going strong. The Renewable Fuels Standard, a federal mandate on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline, has arguments for and against it. That's why the House this week continued its review of the program with a hearing that included voices from the EPA and the USDA.
2. Where's the Farm Bill headed now? That's the question most folks are asking and there are few answers. But one Congresswoman believes the best option is to pass the Senate Farm Bill in the House, even though some economists believe an extension could be imminent.
3. Corn keeps zooming along. This week's crop progress report from the USDA finds corn moving right along with 96% of the crop emerged and 65% rated good to excellent. For the emerged soybean crop, the condition is running ahead of last year at this time at 65% good to excellent.
4. President reveals new climate plan. President Obama revealed a new climate plan this week with the intention to reduce greenhouse gases through priorities for renewable energy sources and tougher fuel economy standards. But some lawmakers blasted the effort, saying it will hurt jobs and unnecessarily increase Environmental Protection Agency regulation.
5. Ever wonder why local meat processors keep disappearing? It's expensive to keep a processing plant going, especially when the stream of animals is unpredictable. That's why USDA's Economic Research Service researchers have offered a few recommendations for farmers and processors looking to work together to keep processors open and local meat flowing.
6. Are farmers markets an automatic environmental benefit? If you buy local because it’s fresher and you enjoy the idea of supporting local farmers, good for you. If you do it because it’s better for the environment, you might want to think critically about that, says Prairie Farmer editor Josh Flint.
7.Could you DIY a sprayer rig? One Missouri farmer did just that by using a front hitch and a few welds. Ok, maybe it wasn't that simple, but he saved some money and time with his innovative design.
And your bonus:
Ever wonder what the most popular cuts of beef are? Well, for this grilling season in particular, top loin steaks take the top prize. But for other beef cuts, the Beef Checkoff has an array of Top 10 charts which compare data for the first quarter 2012 and 2013, providing a quick look at consumer trends.